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  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 27, 2011
  • Season #: 1
Mildred Pierce Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 33 Ratings

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  • Summary: The adaptation of James M. Cain's novel focuses more on Mildred's (Kate Winslet) daughter Veda (Evan Rachel Wood) than the 1945 movie with Joan Crawford did.
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Mar 28, 2011
    This is an epic portrait of a woman who's monumentally single-minded yet uncomprehending, and watching her rise and fall inspires a sick awe. [4 Apr 2011, p.50]
  2. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Mar 24, 2011
    Haynes has created not only a rich and nuanced vehicle for his A-list cast--among them Kate Winslet, Evan Rachel Wood and Guy Pearce--he has given us a rare and valuable gift: an American melodrama about class.
  3. Reviewed by: Cynthia Fuchs
    Mar 25, 2011
    In HBO's miniseries Mildred Pierce, beginning on 27 March, she embodies the sort of ambition and resilience that might seem ideal during a depression-or even a great recession. That is, she's a function of her time (the one first imagined for her by James M. Cain) as well as ours.
  4. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Mar 24, 2011
    Haynes takes a few melodramatic moments too many feet over the top--the injuring of Veda's throat, for example, which rises into an almost laughable delirium. But those excesses are forgivable in this otherwise masterful, faithful, and deluxe adaptation.
  5. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Mar 25, 2011
    The miniseries feels a little pokey in its early chapters, although it does an excellent job of establishing the primary characters, and then races too quickly toward its conclusion (wait, who is Mildred married to now?).
  6. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Mar 25, 2011
    This nearly six-hour adaptation is an over-indulgently languid showcase for Winslet to shine as the iconic and ultimate Mother Martyr.
  7. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Mar 25, 2011
    Over five-plus hours, the miniseries would have had time to explore every nuance. But there are so few that rise above artifice, and so little dramatic action driving the plot, that even an actor as talented as Ms. Winslet can hardly fill the dead spaces.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 6
  2. Negative: 2 out of 6
  1. Apr 10, 2011
    Kate Winslet gives a tour-de-force performance in a beautiful miniseries from Todd Haynes. My only complant is solely the presence of Evan Rachel Wood. She is grating and insufferable, and I often find myself confused where the character ends and she begins. Expand
  2. Mar 28, 2011
    The most gorgeous Todd Haynes movie yet. Mildred Pierce is on fire most of Parts I and II and all of the scenes feel lived in and authentically rendered with stunning costumes, sets (unlike Boardwalk Empire that feels like a Disneyworld-style replica). The weak spot so far is the unfolding dynamic between Mildred and Veda. It chokes the flow of the story and kind of puts Mildred Pierce in a Time Out. Veda annoys and I understand this is the point, but could it have been done a little less broadly? Expand
  3. Oct 3, 2012
    I watched the series after Kate Winslet won an Emmy for her performance. I have to say, it was worth it. It's true that the series could've been better, especially with the script. Overall, I enjoy it ! Expand
  4. Mar 28, 2011
    PLEASE, Mildred!!! you are just too wimpy. Mildred is too sappy and unbelievable. Her husband walks in and just hands her the car keys? sorry, I can;t buy that. What was the sex with Wally about? It has nothing to do with the story. It just dragged on and on. the looking for work episode, too long, too boring. The death sequence strung out for 15 minutes. This could have been pared down to 1 hour, TOPS. It didn't start getting interesting until Monty showed up but I was disappointed that they jumped in bed right away. I would think Mildred had more class then that. Best thing about this was the period stuff, costumes, cars, houses. The second best thing was the previews. This is not good material for a mini series especially when you are competing with Joan Crawford, the ultimate survivor. Expand
  5. Mar 28, 2011
    Show doesn't capture the spirit of the woman, or the times. Trying too hard to be Emmy/Globe material; Kate sleepwalks through the role, bakes a few pies and then--Presto!--opens a spiffy new restaurant in the midst of The Great Depression. She sleeps with Wally The Pig without batting an eyelash but can't bring herself to work as common waitress--all the while maintaining a very comfortable middle-class home without benefit of alimony. This screenplay lacks the snap of the thirties, when everyone had to hustle at top speed to stay alive. For a more honest and satisfying depiction of the real early '30s, I suggest you watch a few classic episodes of "Our Gang" featuring Chubby, Stymie, Jackie Cooper and "Miss Crabtree." You'll get all the authentic costumes you desire, but more importantly, authentic period soul. Expand
  6. Aug 20, 2011
    I am submitting this simply to correct the score that showed up on my review. I meant to give it a 2 which was generous. Default was a 10 and I forgot to change it. Expand

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