In her first project released since her overdue Oscar win in 2009, for The Reader, Winslet tackles another classic female character; Mildred Pierce.
First a novel by James Cain, which then became a celebrated major motion picture (winning Joan Crawford a Best Actress Oscar), and now it has been taken in by HBO for a five-part miniseries.
Cain's novel has been on my list of books to read since a high school teacher made reference to it, and I have never seen the original film, so the question has to be asked; how can I be exuberantly jazzed for something that I really know nothing about?
Well, basically, the reasons are endless:
First of all, nothing gets better than getting sucked into hour after hour of a well crafted miniseries by the BBC or HBO. Have I forgotten to mention my late to the game obsession with, lacking the words to even begin to describe, Angels In America?
Secondly, it takes place in the 1930's, so the costuming, sets, general ambiance (or the mise en scène, for you fancy film folks) is going to be grand. The whole era will be treated even more beautifully with Todd Haynes in tow directing (previously noted in his direction of Far From Heaven).
Also, according to an interview with The View this morning (yes, I watched that), Winslet has 66 costume changes! My brain will probably implode from seeing too much fashion. Even the movie poster is glamorous.
Thirdly, does Winslet ever pick anything not worth watching? Even if some of her movies are not, I will honestly admit, great, she is always compelling.
Lastly, I may not have read the book, but for anyone who loves a good-old soul clenching drama, the plot line, generally focusing on Mildred's struggles as a single mother, seems truly enthralling.
Reading an excellent review by Stephen King, ruined a lot of the intense details of the plot, although, I am even more pumped now that I learned Evan Rachel Wood's character (Mildred's oldest daughter) is referred to as a monster. I mean, how EVIL is she?
To get a better idea about the story, and also simply for your viewing pleasure, a trailer:
Winslet will definitely be winning an Emmy come fall, so now we just have to get her a role on Broadway, and a big hit single (or spoken word comedy album?), and there we go: she just got an EGOT.
Seriously though, if Tracy Morgan (Editors Note from the future: I meant Tracy Jordan, but I mix that up all the time!) can do it, Winslet could do it twice.
Mildred Pierce begins airing this Sunday on HBO.