While this may not exactly be nerdy news or the usual OL steez, I’ve been drooling over this news since last night and had to post. Mildred Pierce, one of the greatest tales of greed and sex from the oeuvre of roman noir, is getting a much-deserved treatment by HBO and director Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven). The 1941 novel, by crime scribe god James M. Cain (Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice) was originally adapted by Warner Bros. in 1945. That version, starring Joan Crawford, had its balls cut off to appease the censors and features none of the book’s complex narcissism or an ounce of its darkness.
Winslet is playing Mildred, a housewife turned pastry chef desperately trying to maintain her family’s social status during the Great Depression. She’s also desperately trying to win the acceptance of her ungrateful daughter, Veda (Evan Rachel Wood). She’s a total biotch. When Mildred falls in with dashing playboy Monty (Guy Pierce), a twisted tangling of wills begins between Mildred and Veda. Cain’s major works were always about sex and the fast-buck. While Midred Pierce isn’t my favorite of his work, it’s unarguably his most ambitious and “epic.”
Depression era LA looks abso-lutely gorgeous and Winslet definitely has the chops to pull of Mildred’s grim naivete. This pleases me.
Ok. Back to your regularly scheduled nerdiness and sexual euphemisms.