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Mildred Pierce (2011)

Kate Winslet , Guy Pearce  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (706 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce, Evan Rachel Wood
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: January 3, 2012
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (706 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0041KKZHI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,100 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mildred Pierce" on IMDb

Special Features

Audio Commentaries with Todd Haynes, Jon Raymond, Mark Friedberg on parts 3 and 5
Series Index (menu-based)
Previews for parts 1-5

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

In Michael Curtiz's hands, James M. Cain's novel Mildred Pierce became a suburban noir, but Todd Haynes spins a more class-conscious tale in this HBO miniseries. The Depression is in effect when Mildred (Kate Winslet, ably filling Oscar-winner Joan Crawford's formidable shoes) breaks with her unfaithful husband, Bert (Brían F. O'Byrne), leaving the Glendale housewife to support her daughters as a waitress and part-time baker (cinematographer Ed Lachman brings her confections to delectable life). To keep up the middle-class façade, only neighbor Lucy (a fine Melissa Leo) knows about her blue-collar day job.

By protecting 11-year-old Veda (Morgan Turner) from the truth, however, Mildred encourages her snobbish tendencies, but then her pastry-making skills allow her to open a chain of restaurants with help from Lucy, feisty colleague Ida (Mare Winningham), and opportunistic realtor Wally (James LeGros, Safe), with whom she has a fling. That ends when she falls for playboy Monty (a dashing Guy Pearce), who takes a shine to Veda, at which point the girl becomes truly insufferable. The first time Mildred slaps her, it's hard not to suppress a cheer. The second time: Veda slaps her mother back. In 1937, when Mildred finally kicks her out (Evan Rachel Wood plays the teenaged Veda), you'll wonder why she didn't do it sooner.

Since 1941, audiences have debated Mildred's attempts to buy her daughter's love. Was Veda a bad seed or did slack parenting make her that way? In ditching the murder of the Curtiz film, Haynes and cowriter Jon Raymond (Meek's Cutoff) lend clarity to her motivations. Despite some awkward staging towards the end, Haynes directs with grace, and his cast rises to the occasion, particularly Winslet and O'Byrne. "Sometimes," Mildred tells Veda, "I wonder if you have good sense." The phrase applies equally well to her mother. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

She gave her daughter everything, but everything was not enough. Mildred Pierce brings to life the memorable characters introduced in James M. Cain’s classic 1941 novel of pride and privilege in the middle class. Starring Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet, and co-written and directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Todd Haynes, this five-part drama is an intimate portrait of a uniquely independent woman who finds herself newly divorced during the Depression years, as she struggles to carve out a new life for herself and her family. The story explores Mildred’s unreasonable devotion to her insatiable daughter Veda (Evan Rachel Wood), as well as the complex relationship she shares with the indolent men in her life, including her polo-playing lover Monty Beragon (Guy Pearce) and ex-husband Bert Pierce (Brian F. O’Byrne)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
120 of 131 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
When I heard that one of my favorite indie directors, Todd Haynes, was going to revisit the classic "Mildred Pierce" envisioned by hard boiled novelist James M. Cain--I was undeniably stoked and have patiently awaited the arrival of this new interpretation. Of course, everyone knows that an original film version won Joan Crawford an Oscar (not to mention inspired my second favorite Carol Burnett show)--but that presentation was more forties melodrama than classic Cain. Haynes has already proven a knack for period detail with the Douglas Sirk homage "Far From Heaven" (my favorite film of the year it was released), so I thought he might bring new life to this familiar tale. And, indeed he has. Eschewing some of the irony and romanticism that I had expected, Haynes has opted instead for a downbeat realism that highlights the Depression era class struggles in much more detail than the previous film version.

I must admit that I literally sat there and watched the entire 5 hour HBO story from start to finish. Of course, if you have a life--you probably aren't going to do the same and that's undoubtedly a good thing. I think it is best to let this "Mildred Pierce" unfold at its own leisurely pace. In truth, for my taste, the program runs a little long at five hours. Less patient viewers might struggle with the first part and its lengthy set-up, but things heat up considerably the further into the miniseries you progress. I respect Haynes' decision to modulate the narrative pacing--it certainly gives you more of an opportunity to get invested in the characterizations. So even if you initially question where the story is going and how long it will take to get there, rest assured that patience will be rewarded.

"Mildred Pierce," at heart, is a tale of mother love and sacrifice.
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Faithful to the Novel April 11, 2011
Format:DVD
In Todd Haynes adaptation of "Mildred Pierce," gone is the noir drama of the 1945 movie of the same name with Joan Crawford, and some screenwriting from William Faulkner, and it's replaced with a more faithful to the James M Cain novel, which is a much more realistic portrayal of the times, and captures the bright realism of the novel which is plays more like a Edward Hopper painting than noir.

As in the novel, Mildred Pierce is a `grass widow,' which is depression era parlance for a divorced woman, needs to support her family of two children, Veda and Ray, because her husband Bert can't find a job and is carrying out an affair with a married woman. After Mildred throws Bert out she finds she only has skills enough for restaurant work and making pies. An employment agency sends her out on a job as a maid but pride won't allow her to take the job because she has to wear a uniform and defer to the lady of the house. Recuperating from the humiliation she felt at having to take a job as a maid in a diner she discovers they need a new waitress, and Mildred swallows her pride and takes the job. She quickly learns all the in's and out's of the restaurant business and opens her own, which in short order is successful. Her daughter Veda, who seems to have been born a snob, continually humiliates Mildred and those around her she considers of a lower social status (Why Veda feels that way we're never told, except from glimpses of Mildred behaving the same way such as kicking Bert only because she didn't get a winter fur coat) shows an interest in, and talent for playing the piano and as she grows older becomes an operatic singer.
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow & Lacking Depth March 28, 2012
Format:DVD
Nominated for a slew of Emmys, HBO's Mildred Pierce is based on a novel that opens in the midst of the Great Depression, and centers around a housewife's attempts to keep her daughters fed and make a name for herself.

Money is tight and Mildred (Kate Winslet) has been padding the grocery bill by making pies and cakes. But when she decides to kick her husband Bert (Brían F. O'Byrne) out of the house for cheating on her and go at it alone, she rapidly discovers the world is not kind to a single mother. Determined not to rely on the charity of her friends, or accept help from her father-in-law, Mildred swallows her pride and becomes a waitress -- much to the horror of her eldest daughter, Veda (Morgan Turner), who puts on airs in spite of their impoverished situation. Soon, her talent in the kitchen will open up a new world of prospects, so long as she can keep the men in her life from becoming too much of a problem. Among them is the fashionable and charismatic Monty Beragon (Guy Pearce), but their tumultuous romance combined with Mildred's desperate attempts to live up to her daughter's impossible standards will take them all down a desperate path.

Even though this miniseries boasts lovely period details and an impressive cast, I am not in love with it. This is due in part to the protagonists, few of whom I managed to like. Bert is the best thing this series has to offer and he's cheating on his wife! Mildred is a completely insecure woman who bends over backwards to try and "earn" the love of her utter wretch of a daughter, and only winds up being hurt... over and over again. At some point, the audience becomes frustrated with her and wishes she would move on. Monty is a total cad.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This was a brilliantly done version of this story with all the money...
This was a brilliantly done version of this story with all the money on the screen. The story and acting were great but it was also so fun to see Southern California in the 30s.
Published 3 hours ago by Maureen
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Well acted but depressing!!!!!! What a bummer of a story!
Published 4 hours ago by Laura O'Connor
5.0 out of 5 stars Mildred Pierce is an amazing serires.
Kate Winslet was amazing! I saw this series 4 times. Each time I felt her desperation and pains. Everyone should watch this. It delivered a very important message. Read more
Published 4 hours ago by Julie Tong
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Have watched it twice... only which there was another season.
Published 8 hours ago by Lala
3.0 out of 5 stars I love period pieces
I am not sure why I finished watching this miniseries. I love period pieces, and this one had some good details, but the bottom line is I hated the characters. Read more
Published 12 hours ago by 67suns
1.0 out of 5 stars Pierce my eyes out
Mildred Pierce is written as a one dimensionally gullible character. How can a person be that naïve and allow her child to manipulate and deceive her so often and easily? Read more
Published 13 hours ago by Whiteboard
4.0 out of 5 stars Starts out great, but lost my interest
I love the way it started...but it has lost my interest before completing the miniseries.
Published 18 hours ago by Geralyn L Hunt
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh . . .
The acting is good. Kate Winslet is a wonderful actress. The story is slow and drawn out. This is a five part miniseries. Read more
Published 21 hours ago by Joseph
5.0 out of 5 stars Motivating for all ladies.
I really enjoyed this mini series. It was captivating and was also motivating to me. It is one I plan on watching again and again.
Published 1 day ago by Tammie Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good drama
Published 1 day ago by Dolores Hollen
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What do you think of this film version of Mildred Pierce?
Hi,
has subtitles in Portuguese BR?
Thank you.
May 24, 2012 by Amazon Customer |  See all 2 posts
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