Tuesday, March 29, 2011

JWTV Quickie: Mildred Pierce - "Part One and Part Two"

     Sunday night, we got to see the first two hours of the new HBO's five hour miniseries, Mildred Pierce. Rather than writing out paragraphs of detailed review, which I will reserve for after the entire run is complete in three weeks, I want to list ten things, both good and bad, of note within the first two hours, in no particular order. Please feel free to add to the list if you think I missed something important, or debate why something is included.

1. Kate Winslet, who plays the title character, will win the Emmy. She just will, sorry, no contest. She is doing a fantastic job in a miniseries that is attracting attention and praise. There will be other actresses as good this year, but you would be hard pressed to find one better, and she will win.

2. I thought Mildred was supposed to be unlikable. Why hasn't she been unlikable yet? Am I under a false impression? She has been shown with pluck and determinating, struggling to support her family, with only a trace of enabling her bratty daughter. Speaking of...

3. Young Veda (Morgan Turner) and the older Veda that will be showing up later (Evan Rachel Wood) are a perfectly cast pair. While Wood has not yet made an appearance, just thinking back to her run on True Blood last year will point to the fact that people are about to be blown away by just how similar the two are in looks and mannerisms. PERFECT!

4. Why is Melissa Leo talking in that annoying voice as Lucy? She just won an Oscar, and she already blew away HBO audiences with her fantastic turn in Treme. All she has been on MP is annoying.

5. Other than cheating on his wife, Bert (Brian F. O'Byrne) seems to be the perfect father, and he's become a fine friend to Mildred post-split. I am having trouble reconciling those two different aspects. Which is kind of neat, because life is complicated, and this way he's presented as a full man, rather than a charicature.

6. The scenes between Mildred and Monty (Guy Pearce) are hot. They'd be even hotter with better looking performers, but the chemistry between the two is very sexy. Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with Pearce other than that terrible hair piece and moustache, which is in period, but Winslet has never been all that attractive, in my opinion. I'm sure others may disagree.

7. The new restaurant Mildred is opening is gorgeous! How can it not succeed? Plus, location, location, location. Why don't more businesses open randomly in the middle of neighborhoods instead of in strips with other businesses? It may be harder to find for the general populace, but the people living within walking distance will surely become loyal patrons.

8. Why doesn't Mildred move into the restaurant? It's a house, right? Persumably, she is only using the main living areas. There will still be bedrooms free. If she will be spending most of her time there anyway, it just makes sense.

9. Why doesn't Mildred hire Ida (Mare Winningham) as her waitress? Mildred will be doing all the cooking, so she's going to need at least one server. I can see why Ida may want to wait and see how the new restaurant goes before deciding, but Mildred should at least offer Ida the first and top spot.

10. Ray's (Quinn McColgan) death - heartbreaking. Simply heartbreaking. She was such a cute little kid! Add to that the unwarranted guilt Mildred will feel by not being there the one time her daughter needed her, and you have some real pathos going on.

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