Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work Digging Into the Cannes Lineup: More Vet Auteurs and Women, No Netflix Digging Into the Cannes Lineup: More Vet Auteurs and Women, No Netflix Ryan Gosling in Talks for 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Damien Chazelle's 'La La Land' Ryan Gosling in Talks for 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Damien Chazelle's 'La La Land' You Can Now Read Over 200,000 Leaked Sony Emails and Documents You Can Now Read Over 200,000 Leaked Sony Emails and Documents Watch: The New 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Trailer Has Landed Watch: The New 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Trailer Has Landed Watch: This Exclusive Tribeca Trailer Promises a Vérité Southern Gothic in Malick Vein Watch: This Exclusive Tribeca Trailer Promises a Vérité Southern Gothic in Malick Vein 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 'Queen of Earth,' Starring a Gloriously Unhinged Elisabeth Moss, Goes to IFC 'Queen of Earth,' Starring a Gloriously Unhinged Elisabeth Moss, Goes to IFC Cary Fukunaga Takes Over Long-Stalled 'The Alienist' as TV Series Cary Fukunaga Takes Over Long-Stalled 'The Alienist' as TV Series Why the Istanbul Film Festival Cancelled Its 2015 Competition Why the Istanbul Film Festival Cancelled Its 2015 Competition MTV Movie Awards 2015: The Highs, the Lows and the Winners List (Videos) MTV Movie Awards 2015: The Highs, the Lows and the Winners List (Videos) Arthouse Audit: 'Ex Machina' Leads Four Big Openers, Kristen Stewart Opens 'Clouds of Sils Maria' Arthouse Audit: 'Ex Machina' Leads Four Big Openers, Kristen Stewart Opens 'Clouds of Sils Maria' From 'Boyhood' to 'Boy Next Door,' the 2015 MTV Movie Awards Noms Are All Over the Map From 'Boyhood' to 'Boy Next Door,' the 2015 MTV Movie Awards Noms Are All Over the Map 25 Years Ago I Wrote: "Hollywood's Female Stars An Endangered Species" 25 Years Ago I Wrote: "Hollywood's Female Stars An Endangered Species" The New Ladder: Anatomy of Indie Women's Picture 'Farah Goes Bang' The New Ladder: Anatomy of Indie Women's Picture 'Farah Goes Bang' Here's the First Image of Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix in Woody Allen's 'Irrational Man' Here's the First Image of Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix in Woody Allen's 'Irrational Man' Reese Witherspoon Nabs 'Luckiest Girl Alive' with Lionsgate, with "a wily, intelligent, complex narrator" Reese Witherspoon Nabs 'Luckiest Girl Alive' with Lionsgate, with "a wily, intelligent, complex narrator" Kristen Stewart Explains How She Held Her Own with Juliette Binoche in 'Sils Maria'--and Won a Cesar Kristen Stewart Explains How She Held Her Own with Juliette Binoche in 'Sils Maria'--and Won a Cesar Scientists Choose the 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies Ever Scientists Choose the 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies Ever Ryan Gosling Reveals How and Why He Shot 'Lost River' Ryan Gosling Reveals How and Why He Shot 'Lost River'

Haynes and Winslet Talk Revisionist HBO Mildred Pierce

Photo of Amy Dawes By Amy Dawes | Thompson on Hollywood January 8, 2011 at 9:02AM

Indie filmmaker Todd Haynes (Far from Heaven) talked to television critics about his first foray into television on HBO's Mildred Pierce Friday at the press tour in Pasadena. TOH contributor Amy Dawes reports: The revisionist spirit that shaped classic 1970s American films like Chinatown and The Godfather was a guiding source of inspiration for Todd Haynes in adapting James L. Cain’s 1941 novel Mildred Pierce.
0
Thompson on Hollywood

Indie filmmaker Todd Haynes (Far from Heaven) talked to television critics about his first foray into television on HBO's Mildred Pierce Friday at the press tour in Pasadena. TOH contributor Amy Dawes reports:


The revisionist spirit that shaped classic 1970s American films like Chinatown and The Godfather was a guiding source of inspiration for Todd Haynes in adapting James L. Cain’s 1941 novel Mildred Pierce.

Haynes’ five-hour miniseries – his first foray into television – takes a naturalistic approach to shooting the Depression-era drama, which stars Kate Winslet and premieres March 27 on HBO.

Produced by Christine Vachon and Killer Films, it’s a decided departure from the noir approach of Michael Curtiz’ 1945 film version. “In the ‘70s, a lot of genre movies were getting reexamined by younger filmmakers who were bringing a more contemporary, more nuanced style to the storytelling,” Haynes explained. “I wanted to honor the bigger-than-life elements of the novel, but also bring out some of the human elements that were missing in the original production.”

Haynes’ intense, emotionally involving drama, co-written with Jon Raymond, focuses on Mildred’s journey as she struggles to provide for her children after her unemployed husband leaves, and her relationship with her materialistic daughter Veda, in whom she seems unnaturally invested. It drops the murder plot that was added in the Curtiz film, and features a different ending that adheres more closely to the novel. “James M. Cain despised the ending of the original film,” Haynes said. “He understood that what’s really hard is when all your dreams and aspirations for your child come true, and guarantee you losing them as a result. That makes a true tragedy and a much more interesting story.”

Working in television, Haynes said, was “so much more intense than any film I’ve been a part of – and it’s not like independent film is easy and langorous, by any stretch.”
The 16-week shoot, in which locations in New York and Long Island stood in for 1930s Los Angeles, “was a marathon experience,” he said. “We were hyper-focused every single day.”

Joining the discussion by satellite from London, Winslet revealed that she chose not to watch the Oscar-winning performance given by Joan Crawford in the 1945 version. “It’s a fine line when you know that someone extraordinary has played the role before,” Winslet said. “I saw the first five minutes, and then I thought, I shouldn’t watch this, because I wouldn’t have been able to un-see it. What I was working toward with Todd was just something different, and I knew that I had to just hang on to my instincts about it.”

The cast also includes Evan Rachel Wood as Veda, Guy Pearce as Monty Beragon, Mildred’s playboy lover; James Le Gros as Wally Bergun, a lover and business associate, and Melissa Leo as Mildred’s friend and neighbor.

Here's a trailer for the original Mildred Pierce, starring Joan Crawford, who has been monstrously misrepresented in the media, argues David Denby in his revisionist New Yorker profile.

Here's the trailer for the Haynes HBO update:


This article is related to: Genres, Headliners, Video, TV, Books, Trailers, HBO


E-Mail Updates