The Playlist

Todd Haynes Talks The Contemporary Parallels Of 'Mildred Pierce' & His Possible Next Project With Julianne Moore

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • January 12, 2012 10:03 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Not content to rank among the first tier of independent filmmakers working on the big screen, Todd Haynes took a gamble last year and collaborated with the folks at HBO for what would become one of the must-see events on television: “Mildred Pierce,” an epic adaptation of James M. Cain’s acclaimed novel. But the filmmaker responsible for some of the most daring and unusual cinematic works of recent years said that the reason he decided to undertake the project on the small screen was simple – namely, he couldn’t have made it otherwise. “I don’t know that we could have made 'Mildred Pierce' as a feature film,” Haynes told us in a recent interview. “The appetite right now among financiers for female-driven historical dramas is scant, and narrowing, and we could have made the good fight, but it certainly would have been a condensed version of that novel, which I thought was already quite significantly accomplished in the first round, in that ’45 film.”

The Best Films Of 2011...So Far

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 21, 2011 4:05 AM
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  • 54 Comments
Well, today is the first day of summer, more or less the midpoint of the year, and looking back over the the first six months of 2011, it’s definitely been a bit more of a scattershot movie year compared to the arthouse heavy start of 2010. We'll be honest, compiling this list wasn't exactly easy, the year has been uneven so far, but that said, it's certainly not without highlights: Terrence Malick finally delivered his long awaited film, Woody Allen flexed some of the old magic we love him for, and Michael Winterbottom found life and heart from a familiar comic pairing, while Joe Wright moved completely in a new, exciting direction. Over at the multiplex, big summer entertainment has already made that overpriced, greasy bag of popcorn worth the price with J.J. Abrams proving that genre thrills don't have to be empty, while one of the year’s best efforts unfolded beautifully on the small screen.

Carter Burwell's Score For Todd Haynes' 'Mildred Pierce' Gets An Official Release

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 11, 2011 6:50 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Sure, we'll be happy to agree to disagree with people on most movies, but we honestly just can't vibe with folks who didn't dig Todd Haynes' "Mildred Pierce." It's the kind of story and filmmaking that just isn't being made at studios big or small. Haynes recently told IndieWire's Eric Kohn, "...not that material in 'Mildred' would be too racy or challenging for the indie film world, but just that it’s increasingly harder to find financing these days for serious dramas, domestic stories, female-driven narratives—everything we already know. The recent record profits of studio productions one would hope would have the effect of broadening, not narrowing, the possibilities—since they can afford it—but, unfortunately, it’s having the reverse effect, and that anxiety impacts independent financing as well." So we hope people voted with their television and tuned in. There is a lot to love in Haynes film, from the sumptuous period detail to the ace acting across the board from Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce, Evan Rachel Wood, Melissa Leo and Mare Winningham, so it's probably no surprise that the series' film score is aces too. And it's getting an official release.

Guy Pearce Talks His Kinship With Kate Winslet In Todd Haynes' 'Mildred Pierce'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 9, 2011 8:21 AM
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  • 1 Comment
There hasn't been a character like Monty Beragon on the screen -- big or small -- in quite a while. Played with rakish charm by Guy Pearce in Todd Haynes' masterful mini-series "Mildred Pierce," he's the devilishly handsome man who falls in with Kate Winslet's titular character and in what is truly a case of opposites attracting. A part owner of a fading fruit company, Monty lives as he always has, with not much thought for tomorrow and usually with a good amount of money in his pockets thanks to his regular dividends. His life revolves around his country club and Mildred and beyond that, not much else. His lifestyle runs counter to Mildred's, she is divorced and working nearly around the clock to make a name for herself and more importantly, earn whatever she can to get everything her daughter desires. Yet in each other, Mildred and Monty find something missing in their own lives. The five-part series allows for plenty of room for the actors and characters to breathe and while the film is primarily about Mildred's fractured relationship with her daughter Veda, her affair with the beguiling and bewitching Monty is given equal time and is just as crucial to the film's heart-wrenching closing chapters.

In Theaters: 'Sucker Punch' Will Try To Beat Up On 'Wimpy Kid 2'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • March 25, 2011 4:33 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Well if Zack Snyder didn't just win the Release Date Lottery?! His dark, twisted sexual fantasy "Sucker Punch" hits theaters this weekend, opening against... "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2?" Don't count out the kid demo just yet though, especially with Snyder's debut foray into original material getting jabbed in the kidneys by critics all over the ring. Those are your two options for new releases at the box office though, so maybe you want to check out "Limitless," "Red Riding Hood," or "Battle LA"? No again? We understand. If you're looking for quality, look no further than your home entertainment center, as Todd Haynes' miniseries take on James M. Cain's "Mildred Pierce" starring Kate Winslet hits small screens this weekend as well. Of course there are always art house and foreign limited releases by filmmakers who deserve your support much more than the misguided Snyder (oh, how we weep for the potential we saw in "Dawn of the Dead").

Review: Todd Haynes' 'Mildred Pierce' A Mouth-Watering Melodrama On An Operatic Scale

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 22, 2011 3:31 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Yes, we already know that Hollywood studios are continuing to pull away from adult oriented dramas, while continuing to pour money into franchises, sequels and spinoffs. And we've certainly already sung the praises of HBO for setting the standard for their colleagues by being a welcoming home for auteurs to toil away on the kinds of projects that wouldn't get them through the front door anywhere else. However, it's one thing to logically pair Todd Haynes with the period melodrama "Mildred Pierce" but when you surround him with the talent he has here, giving him an almost absurdly generous amount of running time to tell the story his way, it's practically like the cable network is sticking a thumb in the eye of Hollywood.

Watch: New Trailer For Todd Haynes' HBO Mini-Series 'Mildred Pierce' Starring Kate Winslet

  • By Simon Dang
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  • February 9, 2011 3:03 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Looks like HBO have raised the stakes with the latest trailer for Todd Haynes' highly anticipated five-part HBO mini-series, an adaptation of James M. Cain's "Mildred Pierce," which will star Kate Winslet in the titular role along side Evan Rachel Wood, Guy Pearce and Melissa Leo.

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