...The One-Minute Pundit
Friday, April 15, 2011
More genius from CABLE -- from its GLOBE THEATRE:
A couple of Sundays ago I had a gnarly mood swing in front of the telly. It happened while Kate Winslet was frowning and mumbling her way through the third episode of Mildred Pierce, the HBO miniseries directed by Todd Haynes. Though meticulously art-directed, this rendering of the James M. Cain pulp novel is the polar opposite of the archly fabulous 1945 movie that won Joan Crawford an Oscar. All the heavy maquillage, gut-busting histrionics and scenery-blocking shoulder pads of that classic film noir have been replaced by soft, Depression-era mossy tones and a relentlessly faithful-to-the-original-novel screenplay. In an effort to avoid cheesy pastiche, Haynes has stripped away the sizzle and the style and the Eve Ardens and the Butterfly McQueens, and replaced them with—quelle horreur!—authenticity.
Halfway through, I could stand it no more. I turned to my dog Liberace and I screeched, "You know what's wrong with this show don't you? It's not bloody camp enough!"