Mildred Pierce (miniseries)

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Mildred Pierce
Mildred pierce poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Genre Drama
Based on Mildred Pierce
by James M. Cain
Screenplay by Todd Haynes
Jon Raymond
Directed byTodd Haynes
Starring Kate Winslet
Guy Pearce
Evan Rachel Wood
Melissa Leo
Theme music composer Carter Burwell
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes5
ProducersTodd Haynes
Christine Vachon
John Wells
Pamela Koffler
Ilene S. Landress
Cinematography Edward Lachman
Editor Affonso Gonçalves
Running time58–79 minutes
Production companies HBO
MGM Television
Killer Films/John Wells Production
Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Budget$20 million
Original network HBO
Original releaseMarch 27 (2011-03-27) 
April 10, 2011 (2011-04-10)
External links

Mildred Pierce is an American drama television miniseries that aired on HBO from March 27 to April 10, 2011, consisting of five episodes. Adapted from James M. Cain's 1941 novel of the same name, [1] it was directed by Todd Haynes, and starred Kate Winslet in the title role, alongside Guy Pearce, Evan Rachel Wood, and Melissa Leo. [1] Carter Burwell wrote the original score for the miniseries.


It is the second adaptation of the novel, after the 1945 film noir produced by Warner Bros. and starring Joan Crawford.


Mildred Pierce depicts an overprotective, self-sacrificing mother during the Great Depression who finds herself separated from her husband, opening a restaurant of her own and falling in love with a man, all the while trying to earn her spoiled, narcissistic elder daughter's love and respect.



Parts of the miniseries were filmed in three New York locations: Peekskill, Point Lookout and Merrick. [2]


Mildred Pierce received generally favorable reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an approval rating of 81% based on reviews from 58 critics. [3] At Metacritic, the miniseries has a weighted average score of 69, based on 28 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". [4] In a WBEZ podcast on the best theatrical films of 2011, critic Jonathan Rosenbaum used the series as an example of television work that was on par with the year's best movies, calling it Haynes' best work to date. [5] called it a "quiet, heartbreaking masterpiece", [6] while The New York Times reviewer, Alessandra Stanley, commented that while the miniseries was "loyally, unwaveringly true to James M. Cain's 1941 novel", it did not "make the most of the mythic clash of mother, lover and ungrateful child", and was "not nearly as satisfying as the 1945 film noir". [7]

Novelist Stephen King, reviewing Mildred Pierce for The Daily Beast and Newsweek , praised the acting of Winslet, Pearce and Wood, and admired the show's attention to detail and structure, [8] but complained that the five-hour adaptation was "too damn long". [8] He finishes with, "Winslet’s Mildred is a genuine star turn. How Joan Crawford would have loathed her." [8]

The series was shown out of competition at the 68th Venice International Film Festival in 2011. [9]


Parts 1 & 2March 27, 20111.270 million [10]
Part 3April 3, 20110.987 million [11]
Parts 4 & 5April 10, 20110.964 million [12]

Awards and nominations

Primetime Emmy Awards [13]
Outstanding Miniseries or Movie Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler, John Wells, Todd Haynes, and Ilene S. LandressNominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie Kate Winslet Won
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Guy Pearce Won
Brían F. O'Byrne Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie Evan Rachel Wood Nominated
Melissa Leo Nominated
Mare Winningham Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special Todd Haynes Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special Todd Haynes and Jonathan Raymond Nominated
Outstanding Art Direction for a Miniseries or Movie Mark Friedberg, Peter Rogness, and Ellen ChristiansenWon
Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special Laura RosenthalWon
Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie Ed Lachman for "Part Five"Nominated
Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special Ann Roth and Michelle Matland for "Part Two"Nominated
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries or Movie Jerry DeCarlo and Jerry PopolisNominated
Outstanding Makeup for a Miniseries or Movie (Non-Prosthetic) Patricia Regan and Linda MelazzoNominated
Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Original Dramatic Score) Carter Burwell for "Part Five"Won
Outstanding Main Title Theme Music Carter Burwell Nominated
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or Movie Camilla Toniolo for "Part Four"Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special Thomas O'Neil Younkman, Brian Dunlop, Tony Martinez, Ellen Heuer, and Eliza Paley for "Part Five"Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or Movie A. Josh Reinhardt, Leslie Shatz, Bobby Johanson, and Drew Kunin for "Part Five"Nominated
Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special Lesley Robson-Foster, John Bair, Renuka Ballal, Nathan Meier, Constance Conrad, Marci Ichimura, Josephine Noh, Aaron Raff, and Scott Winston for "Part Five"Nominated
Golden Globe Awards [14] Best Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Kate Winslet Won
Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film Guy Pearce Nominated
Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film Evan Rachel Wood Nominated
Satellite Awards [15] Best Television Film Won
Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Kate Winslet Won
Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film Guy Pearce Nominated
Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film Evan Rachel Wood Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards [16] Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Guy Pearce Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Kate Winslet Won

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Mildred Pierce is a 1941 hardboiled novel by James M. Cain. It was made into an Academy Award–winning film of the same name in 1945, starring Joan Crawford, and a 2011 Emmy Award–winning miniseries of the same name, starring Kate Winslet. Cain's portrayal of the title character as an independent working woman was a departure from the one-dimensional depictions of women in his earlier crime fiction; in this he was influenced by his friendship with Kate Cummings Logan, whom he believed had sacrificed her singing career to advance her daughter, the actress Constance Cummings. Kate Cummings served as muse during the writing of the novel, encouraging the author to make his portrayal of working women more authentic.

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