Monday, October 6, 2008

Mildred

Film director and Portland resident Todd Haynes told Willamette Week that he plans to film a television remake of "Mildred Pierce", the James M. Cain novel that was turned into an iconic Joan Crawford/Warner Brothers film in 1945. Crawford won her only Oscar for her role as a divorced waitress turned entrepreneur who has some parenting issues with her spoiled rotten daughter. Haynes would base the film on the original source novel and not the film, and set his film in the book's Thirties/Depression era setting as opposed to the 40's wartime setting of the original film. Read more about it, here: http://wweek.com/wwire/?p=13536

I like the IDEA of a new Mildred Pierce (it's one of my favorite films), and I think Haynes will do a good job, but I'm not sure it's the smartest career move for him. He's already done the old film hommage with "Far From Heaven", his take on the Douglas Sirk films of the 1950's. Personally, I'd like to see him do something a little more contemporary, more along the lines of "Safe", the 1995 Julianne Moore starring film about a woman who finds herself allergic to her consumerist lifestyle.

I have to admit that I have an idea for a stage piece based on Mildred that would be more in the vein of parody/travesty and involve music by Stephen Sondheim, but I don't want to reveal more than that. I also know that beloved Seattle actor Nick Garrison has his own idea of how he'd like to stage Mildred as well, and it's a pretty clever idea. Hopefully, someday, Seattle will get to see one or both of these versions...

2 comments:

Alex said...

looking forward to the Haynes version of MILDRED PIERCE actually, which is one of my favorites too. better he gets his mits on it than someone like whomever made the new version of THE WOMEN. yuck.

michael strangeways said...

Mildred Pierce is one of the first black and white movies I can remember watching as a kid and realizing how much I loved old film and black/white films.