HBO's five-part miniseries of James M. Cain's Mildred Pierce, directed by Todd Haynes, is a magnificent recreation of the 1930s, with a look influenced by the photographs of Saul Leiter. It features a multilayered performance by Kate Winslet and a haunting score by Carter Burwell. NY locations became LA, including the California bungalow-style stucco homes in Merrick, Long Island. As explained in the "Making of" film, the Gables community in Merrick was created to make Hollywood actors feel at home on the East Coast.
Kate Winslet was great. The shooting and sets were great. The two Vedas were great. Why was I so unmoved? I felt there were loooooong stretches where Mildred's internal dialogue (in the book)were replaced by an angst filled look from Kate Winslet, ands a slow pan, as opposed to maybe some scripting that could keep forward motion going in the narrative. It was just miserable as opposed to f-ed up. I was expecting f-ed up, maybe. Still beautiful, just disappointing.