Facto mundo: Todd Haynes loves himself some classic Hollywood, and it shows in every frame of his Douglas Sirk homage, Far From Heaven. Just look at this image of the always ravishing Julianne Moore and try not to have a Technicolorgasm:
PERFECTION. For that reason alone I’d trust this man above all other people (save for Guy Madden) to make a new adaptation of James M. Cain’s Mildred Pierce. As it served the basis for the Joan Crawford melodrama masterpiece of the same name, one would think that I should be vying for the throne of Queen of All Bitches at such a thought, but Todd Haynes writing and directing a remake of Mildred Pierce is something I can really get behind. Yes, Mildred Pierce is a sacred cinematic text for us gays, but an openly-gay director with that sort of eye for color has got me absolutely giddy at the thought.
But who shall be his Mildred? Let’s take a peek:
Kate Winslet is attached to “Mildred Pierce,” a miniseries adaptation based on the James M. Cain novel that Todd Haynes is writing and directing. Sources said HBO is the lead contender to get the series, but pay web sources said no deal has been struck.
Cain’s tale was famously turned into the 1945 film that won Joan Crawford an Oscar for the lead role of a bored housewife who gets into the restaurant business, an enterprise that leads to backstabbing, romance and murder.
If Haynes is working off Cain’s novel as the source material, his Mildred Pierce likely won’t end up being something along the lines of Mildred Pierce Is Far From Heaven. I certainly hope he pays homage to both the iconic film and its even more iconic star, but he largely has carte blanche with his adaptation. Kate Winslet’s casting further secures that this is his vision as opposed to a lazy, studio-mandated remake.
Kate Winslet’s has the glamour of Classic Hollywood, and she’s indubitably a true talent, but there’s something unexpected about her casting that really adds verve to what this new Mildred might be. She won’t be playing it like Joan Crawford played the role. For the Crawford fan in me, I’ll admit this to be weirdly unnerving. Can Mildred Pierce be Mildred Pierce without Joan? The rational part of me says, “I don’t know.” The really gay part of resoundingly screeches, “NEVER!!!” It’s a conundrum.
That said, the Kate Winslet fan in me finds said question terribly exciting. She had me at Titanic, and she’s had me ever since. I probably should remain more skeptical (at least until the first trailer, at which point I’ll be reduced to piercing shrieks of enthusiasm), but I feel strangely confident that Todd Haynes and Kate Winslet will make their Mildred Pierce into something truly fabulous in its own right.
Much love to Brynn for the news.