Mildred Pierce : Season 1

  • Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 27, 2011
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. People Weekly
    Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Mar 28, 2011
    100
    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: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Mar 24, 2011
    100
    Mildred Pierce is a masterpiece.
  3. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Mar 24, 2011
    100
    HBO has done it again, investing in a project of substance and a lead actress who powers it home.
  4. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Mar 24, 2011
    90
    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.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Mar 16, 2011
    83
    If you buy the overwrought emotions so ornately expressed, you'll buy this TV movie's conviction. I was occasionally skeptical, but sold by the terrific performances.
  6. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Mar 25, 2011
    80
    Is Veda what happens when we shelter children from economic realities? Is she a bitch because her father left? Or simply a bad seed? That we never really find out didn't ruin Mildred Pierce for me. The story, after all, isn't called "Veda Pierce," and what remains is a surprising amount of fun, given that we're talking divorce, Depression and dysfunction.
  7. Reviewed by: Cynthia Fuchs
    Mar 25, 2011
    80
    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.
  8. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Mar 24, 2011
    80
    The new Mildred isn't perfect. Sometimes it has too much time on its hands, holding scenes just because it can. But watching it is time well-spent, because it reminds us that not everyone gets over the rainbow to the place where the dreams you dare to dream really do come true.
  9. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Mar 23, 2011
    80
    After a plodding start, Mildred becomes increasingly absorbing.
  10. Reviewed by: Paige Wiser
    Mar 24, 2011
    75
    Film buffs will have a field day analyzing the themes: social climbing, postwar materialism, feminism, lousy parenting, etc. But this is not event TV like "Boardwalk Empire."
  11. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Mar 24, 2011
    75
    If you're a purist James M. Cain fan, this is the miniseries for you. The intricacies of the story are laid out like a delicious Mildred chicken buffet. But, if you adore the original zippy, wise-cracking crime story with ankle-straps, order up Netflix instead.
  12. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Mar 23, 2011
    75
    For the most part, [Haynes] succeeds because he embraces the story's excesses instead of feeling they need to be swept under a metaphorical rug.
  13. Reviewed by: Dan Callahan
    Mar 18, 2011
    75
    A great movie is always a bit of a mystery, and that creative mystery is missing from the center of Haynes's Mildred Pierce, which cannot be faulted for craft or intelligence, but cannot be felt on the gut level of Cain, Crawford, or Curtiz, who might not have had a thought in his head about the story, but directs the hell out of it in pure visual and visceral movie terms.
  14. 70
    I did love Mildred Pierce, mostly, for much of its nearly six hours.
  15. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Mar 25, 2011
    70
    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?).
  16. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Mar 25, 2011
    70
    If you feel like you would like Mildred Pierce, in other words--if this kind of period piece is catnip to you--then I bet you will love Mildred Pierce. If not--well, at least, you might admire Haynes' enthusiasm.
  17. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Mar 24, 2011
    70
    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.
  18. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Mar 24, 2011
    70
    Not everyone is going to respond to its purposeful languor and subliminal intent. Winslet is at once wonderful and yet enigmatically blank--very much as written in Haynes's and Jon Raymond's screenplay.
  19. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Mar 24, 2011
    67
    The performance tends to be monochromatic, and in the end, so is Mildred Pierce. What's especially enjoyable here are the minor performances--especially Pearce as the louche Monty--and the many almost imperceptibly small details, right down to the crockery in a restaurant.
  20. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Mar 25, 2011
    60
    Preferring to redomesticize Mildred Pierce, Haynes arrives at a film--a five-part, five-hour miniseries--that is merely pretty good.
  21. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Mar 25, 2011
    60
    This nearly six-hour adaptation is an over-indulgently languid showcase for Winslet to shine as the iconic and ultimate Mother Martyr.
  22. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Mar 24, 2011
    50
    Extending for five hours over three weekly segments, this luxuriously produced miniseries is so gorgeous, even in its re-creation of the Depression, that it practically shimmers. It's also slow to the point where "languid" doesn't even begin to do it justice.
  23. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Mar 24, 2011
    50
    While the miniseries is more faithful to the 1941 James M. Cain novel of the same name, Todd Haynes' adaptation (he co-wrote the teleplay, directed and acted as one of the executive producers on this five-part bloated whale) is so draining, it might make you anemic.
  24. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Mar 24, 2011
    50
    It's a five-part drama that is loyally, unwaveringly true to James M. Cain's 1941 novel and somehow not nearly as satisfying as the 1945 film noir that took shameless liberties with plot, characters and settings.
  25. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Mar 25, 2011
    40
    You can blame Winslet, or Haynes, or both, but something doesn't fit, and it wrecks everything, above and beyond spending so much time on a story that could have been just as satisfyingly told at half the length.
  26. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Mar 24, 2011
    40
    I came away from HBO's five-part series with a great deal of respect for Winslet's impassioned performance, but so many other aspects of Mildred Pierce worked against Winslet's naturalistic style that parts of the miniseries ended up being, frankly, a slog.
  27. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Mar 23, 2011
    40
    When all the storytelling is coming to a climax, there's something missing--the same connection that was absent between Mildred and Veda from the start.
  28. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Mar 25, 2011
    30
    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.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 38 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 6
  2. Negative: 2 out of 6
  1. Mar 28, 2011
    4
    PLEASE, Mildred!!! you are just too wimpy. Mildred is too sappy and unbelievable. Her husband walks in and just hands her the car keys?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. Full Review »
  2. Oct 3, 2012
    8
    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'veI 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 ! Full Review »
  3. Apr 10, 2011
    9
    Kate Winslet gives a tour-de-force performance in a beautiful miniseries from Todd Haynes. My only complant is solely the presence of EvanKate 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. Full Review »