Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What I’m Watching: Mildred Pierce

Mildred Pierce: Parts 4 & 5

After premiering only two weeks ago, this miniseries comes to a close with this powerful double-hitter. So much ground has been covered in only five installments, and while they’ve all been equally terrific, it’s easy to consider this last set the most powerful of the bunch. The main reason for that is that Mildred has nowhere to go but down from her high perch at the beginning of part four. In the first two hours and especially through the third, Mildred overcome adversity and hardship and made a name for herself through her business. It seems as if things might be going well here, but her dwindling finances quickly bring her down. Additionally, Veda proves that sometimes a horrible brat of a child only gets worse as she gets older. It’s not to say that Veda’s affair with Monty is unexpected, but that doesn’t make it any less shocking and hurtful. It’s hard to figure out who deserves more blame: the actual adult in the room, Monty, or the girl who has throughout her entire life been insubordinate and outright cruel to her mother. It’s nice to see that Mildred is able to find happiness again with Bert, the man who she left. Unlike many other stories of women trying independence and ending up back where they started, Mildred actually does accomplish something great, and leads a fulfilling life. This miniseries was expertly directed, and finely acted by the likes of Kate Winslet, Brian F. O’Byrne, Guy Pearce, Mare Winnigham, and Melissa Leo. I’m sure Winslet will have no trouble picking up accolades for this, and I hope she’s not alone since the other players did a stellar job as well.

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