# 230 – Mildred Pierce (TV-show special)

To be clear, Mildred Pierce is not a TV-show but a mini-series that snatched Emmys for both Kate Winslet and Guy Pearce. I watched all the five episodes in one day and enjoyed it quite a lot, it even motivated me to watch Dowton Abbey of which I’ll be writing soon.

Since Kate Winslet was the star of the series, with valid reasons, I’d start with her and her character. It seems Winslet is used to roles that take her back in time, she has that look to her, that old beauty that is now shadowed by leading ladies with a lot of plastic surgery. She portrayed a woman, Mildred Pierce during her years of struggling with life, kids and money. Since it is based on a novel I’m not surprised it had such great stories to tell, has Todd Haynes as the director/producer/writer and was aired on HBO I would say this series was destined to be great. While reading other reviews on it, it seems that the general criticism to it has to do with the length of Mildred Pierce. Many tell it was too long and 5 hours is just too much drama.

In my opinion the mini-series is kept interesting by good actors and this series had a lot of them. I do like Kate Winslet so it is hard to say something bad about her, she is a great actress so I didn’t even try to find any mistakes she might had done while portraying Mildred. Guy Pearce took the role of the wild and carefree lover who I liked cause I rarely see Guy Pearce and I don’t know why since he is such a brilliant actor. One of my favorite surprises was Evan Rachel Wood who got to portray Mildred’s oldest daughter in last two episodes. In addition to the fact that Wood stood out, I think the younger version of the daughter, played by Morgan Turner, was as delightful to watch. It is great to see young actresses take on such huge personalities on screen and I believe she has a interesting career in front of her. Melissa Leo, the Oscar winner, took on the role of a friend and was just that – a safe and helpful character.

What was also enjoyable was the atmosphere of it all, the 40s were captured in clothes, interior, cars and the way of speaking as well. Did it feel real? Yes, but since I’m no expert on the era I can’t really be trusted on this matter. Besides, I am all for the oldies that are done nowadays – this is why I enjoy Downton Abbey so much (I really do!).

I would think that the idea of making it into a mini-series was quite good cause I couldn’t imagine getting into the whole thing with in 2 hours. Although I did have some moments when I wasn’t paying any attention to what was happening cause it seemed to have a lot of scenes I wasn’t that interested in. So I might be agreeing with those who say it went on for too long and irony of it all is that the best parts of this whole 5 hour experience were somewhere in the beginning and then the last 30 minutes or so. And those final acts of the whole story really showed of the strength of Winslet and Wood.  So it is an interesting issue, as a movie it wouldn’t have worked and I guess 5 episodes was just the right amount for them in their minds so why not go with that.

All in all I’m very happy I have been in a mood to watch more serious movies and shows lately, this gives me a chance to write something good about the things I write cause it really seems that the serious ones get better reviews – until the next serious review!

# 195 – The Ides of March (trailer special)

To be completely honest, I haven’t watched a serious drama in a long time and actually there hasn’t been anything that has interested me – except now. When the ever favorite George Clooney writes and directs a movie with him in the lead and the guy who stole our heart in The Notebook, Ryan Gosling next to him you surely would think that nothing can go wrong.

The movie is very political, lots of intrigue and all of it seems like something my mom would definitely love. I hope it is as interesting as The Ghost Writer was which was probably the last political drama I watched. Helping along the seriousness is the rest of the cast that includes Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymore Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood and Marisa Tomei – looks like a really great mix for a movie about soon to be president that seems to be playing it dirty all the way.

But the trailer (and Clooney/Gosling) isn’t the only reason why I wanted to do this post, I actually was stunned by the poster. Is it the similarities between the men or is it just the  idea that is just genius but The Ides of March has probably the most visually interesting poster of a drama movie. After the movie comes out on October the 7th, I definitely hope to get myself that poster.

# 51 – Life Before Her Eyes

After watching this movie (2007) I had to think, really put the pieces together and see beyond the story that was shown in this movie. I loved it. I read somewhere that it recieved negative critics because it was too complex – well, have you seen Estonian movies? (What am I saying, the whole Europe loves complex movies). Yes, it was confusing at the end but I think that the messy ending made the movie better.

Visually it was cool – there were scenes and close-ups that made it interesting. They literally gave the movie more depth and I think that to some that is maybe hard to crasp. You should do so much thingking while watching this movie because it is deep (in a beautiful way sometimes) but in the end you have to focus and take in everything you see. You might loose the main idea behind the movie (based on a book by the way) but I’m sure you’d be able to come up with it after you put the scenes in the right order. The flashbacks make it a little too ruffeled but I liked that – I like when things aren’t fed to me on a silver platter because it requiers my knowledge of semiotics (I might have some after 2 years I persume) to see the whole even if it is shattered to pieces.

Uma Thurman plays grown-up Diana and Evan Rachel Wood the teenage Diana. Have I mentioned before how much I like Evan Rachel Wood? If not, I’ll do it now – love her! Compared to other teen actresses (like Stewart or Duff) she seems so comfortable in her own skin. I mention Duff because I just watched one of her old movies and I loath it – the way she stands feels like she is scared and uncomfortable and just yuck. In Life Before Her Eyes Wood gives a performance some what similar to the one in Thirteen but not so troubled and not so mad at the world.

I give it a 4+ since I think that this was the first and the last time I will watch that movie or who knows – maybe next time I’ll take better notes (some of the quotes were worth remembering). Nobody knows for sure.