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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

March 15, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Kate Winslet in “Mildred Pierce”

I’m starting to get all anticipatory over “Mildred Pierce,” the HBO miniseries starting Sunday, March 27; it seems a compelling reason to hang on to HBO now that “Big Love” is going off the air. (Then again, I hear “Bored to Death” is coming back in the fall too, which is more good news.) Everything about “Mildred Pierce,” previously filmed as the campy but enjoyable 1945 Joan Crawford movie about a Depression-era mother and her spoiled daughter, looks to be A-list: the cast (Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce, Melissa Leo, Evan Rachel Wood), the director (Todd Haynes, who previously explored period melodrama in the beautiful 2002 film “Far from Heaven,” and who co-wrote this project as well), the lavish costumes by four-time Oscar nominee Ann Roth (“The Hours,” “The English Patient,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley”), the source material (a novel by James. M. Cain, whose works also inspired the movies “Double Indemnity” and “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” which I’m going to have to read very soon). Take a look:

Update: I had said earlier that this was a “remake” of the 1945 Joan Crawford movie, but just got a call from a pleasant person at HBO who wanted me to clarify that the new miniseries is not a remake of the earlier movie, but a “re-imagining” of the James M. Cain novel. Fair enough.
Speaking of “Big Love” and HBO, clearly on my mind this week, word is that Chloe Sevigny (who plays the deliciously manipulative Nicki on “Big Love”) has another HBO project lined up: She’ll play the notorious axe murderer Lizzie Borden in a four-hour miniseries, and will also be a producer on the project. This seems like good casting, no? Do you doubt for one second that Nicki might take an axe to Adaleen, given the right mood?

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