James M. Cain

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Roush Review: HBO's Mildred Pierce

Evan Rachel Wood and Kate Winslet

It's the kind of role an actress would kill for — it won Joan Crawford a 1945 Oscar and is likely to reap Emmy and other honors for Kate Winslet — but I wish I could say HBO's deluxe but draggy miniseries redo of Mildred Pierce was to die for.

"From now on, honey, you're fast." So says a jaded neighbor lady (newly minted Oscar winner Melissa Leo) to Mildred, left by her failure of a husband to raise two girls alone in the Depression, as the unhappy Mrs. Pierce considers taking her hubby's lumpy business partner as a lover.

Mildred begs to differ. She's desperate, but not... read more

Kate Winslet Heads to TV in Mildred Pierce

Kate Winslet

Hollywood kinda blew it. Now HBO is determined to get it right. Mildred Pierce, a five-hour miniseries based on the classic James M. Cain novel about a single mom struggling through the Great Depression, stars Kate Winslet in the role made famous by Joan Crawford. Mommie Dearest won an Oscar for the 1945 film version, which is hardly considered definitive. In fact, it pretty much mangled and sanitized Cain's starkly sexual feminist saga. Winslet, herself an Oscar winner, watched only five minutes of the Crawford film, then stopped, she says, "because I... read more

Matt's Weekend Picks: March 25-27

Anna Torv

Fringe (Friday, 9/8c, Fox)
This entire season has been a tour de force for Anna Torv. Doing double duty as dueling Olivias from parallel warring universes, she most recently spent an episode channeling her inner Spock — aka Leonard Nimoy — as the ghostly soul of William Bell inhabited her body for a very clever outing. (In the climax, the dormant Olivia resurfaced briefly, freaking out Peter and the viewing audience.) This week, we're back in alt-world, as the pregnant Alt-livia faces mortal danger from several fronts. It's a very harrowing hour, deserving a far larger audience than it's likely to get, tucked away on Fridays. Fox, stand by this show!

Norm Macdonald: Me Doing Stand-Up (Saturday, 11:30/10:30c, Comedy Central)
The sardonic comic... read more

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