First Trailer for HBO’s MILDRED PIERCE Starring Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce, and Evan Rachel Wood

     September 13, 2010


HBO has released the first trailer for their upcoming five-part miniseries, Mildred Pierce.  Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven) is director, with Kate Winslet starring as “a proud, single mother struggling to earn her daughter’s love during the depression in middle-class Los Angeles.”  As expected, the miniseries looks like it will be just as cinematic as Haynes’ previous works, and Winslet looks like she will deliver another great performance.  Hit the jump to check out the trailer along with a plot synopsis for the source material.

mildred_pierce_james_m_cain_book_coverHere’s the synopsis for James M. Cain’s novel:

Set in Glendale, California, in the 1930s, Mildred Pierce is the story of a middle-class housewife’s attempt to maintain her and her family’s social position during the Great Depression. Frustrated by her unemployed cheating husband, and worried by their dwindling finances, Mildred separates from him and sets out to support herself and her children on her own.

After a difficult search, she finally finds a job as a waitress, but she worries that it is beneath her middle-class station. Actually, Mildred worries more that her ambitious elder daughter, Veda, will think her new job is demeaning. Mildred encounters both success and tragedy, opening three successful restaurants and operating a pie-selling business, and coping with the death of her younger daughter, Kay. Veda enjoys Mildred’s newfound financial success, but increasingly turns ungrateful, demanding more and more from her hard-working mother and letting her contempt for people who must work for a living be known. Mildred’s attachment to Veda forms the central tragedy of the novel. [Wikipedia]


Mildred Pierce is set to air on HBO sometime next year.  In the meantime, I highly recommend checking out the 1945 film adaptation of the novel directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) and starring Joan Crawford.  It was nominated for six Academy Awards and continues to be one of the best noir films that Hollywood ever made.  As a fan of the original film, I can’t wait to see Haynes’ take on the material.