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Monday Review: Six by Sondheim

America Ferrera, James Lapine

Few love words as passionately as Broadway's master composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, but there's one word that makes him cringe: "Hummable," a quality some (erroneously) find lacking in his challenging, rewarding scores. "Drives me up the wall," he growls.

Which is why it's such an ironic delight when Sondheim performs as part of a new staging of his autobiographical "Opening Doors" production number (from the initially flop musical Merrily We Roll Along), playing a producer who bullies a team of young songwriters to conjure a "humm-umm-able melody."

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Julianne Moore to Get Hooked on HBO's Dope?

Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore is in talks to star in HBO's new miniseries Dope, Deadline.com reports.

The miniseries — which would reunite... read more

Getting to Know Mildred Pierce's Scene Stealer Evan Rachel Wood

Evan Rachel Wood

She Plays: Snobby opera star — and mega-bitch daughter from hell — Veda Pierce in the HBO Depression-era epic Mildred Pierce. "Veda craves money, status and getting even with her poor mother [Kate Winslet]," Wood says. "She is so horrible I worry that no one will feel bad for her in any way. Playing her almost killed me because I was constantly in this dark head space. There are no light moments with Veda. No relief. It's the most difficult part I've ever done."

Where You've Seen Her: Wood made a smashing transition from playing complex kids... read more

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

Kate Winslet on Making Her TV Debut: "Film, Schmilm"

Mildred Pierce

She's won an Oscar. She's starred in one of the most successful movies of all time. Now, Kate Winslet is about to conquer another first: television.

"It never occurred to me, beyond the moment of reading those scripts, 'Wow, this is television, therefore it's going to be different somehow,'" Winslet said Friday at the Television Critics Association's winter preview sessions. The actress is starring in HBO's 5-part adaptation of Mildred Pierce. "Sure we have more to shoot ... but the level of determination and level of focus was so much more intense than certainly any... read more

Evan Rachel Wood, Guy Pearce Join Mildred Pierce Remake

Evan Rachel Wood, Guy Pearce

Evan Rachel Wood and Guy Pearce will join Kate Winslet in Mildred Pierce, HBO's five-part miniseries, which is set to begin shooting next month.

Kate Winslet heads to HBO for new miniseires

Wood will play Winslet's daughter, Veda Pierce, and Pearce will portray... read more

Kate Winslet Heads to HBO for New Miniseries

Kate Winslet

HBO has picked up the Kate Winslet-starring miniseries Mildred Pierce, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The five-hour miniseries will be directed by Todd Haynes and is based on the James M. Cain novel. Winslet... read more

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The Cinema of Todd Haynes: All That Heaven Allows (Directors' Cuts)
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The Cinema of Todd Haynes: All That Heaven Allows (Directors' Cuts)
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