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Mildred Pierce - S01E02

Drama
 

Mildred begins selling her pies at the diner and starts planning to open her own restaurant. Then she meets a handsome stranger named Monty Beragon who will play a major role in her future. Daughter Ray then suddenly takes ill.

 
Episode Title: Part 2
Airs: 2011-03-27 at 09:00 pm
  • Tom Gliatto

    This is an epic portrait of a woman who's monumentally single-minded yet uncomprehending, and watching her rise and fall inspires a sick awe. [4 Apr 2011, p.50]

    People Weekly Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    Mildred Pierce is a masterpiece.

    Salon Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    HBO has done it again, investing in a project of substance and a lead actress who powers it home.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    Haynes has created not only a rich and nuanced vehicle for his A-list cast--among them Kate Winslet, Evan Rachel Wood and Guy Pearce--he has given us a rare and valuable gift: an American melodrama about class.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    If you buy the overwrought emotions so ornately expressed, you'll buy this TV movie's conviction. I was occasionally skeptical, but sold by the terrific performances.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    Is Veda what happens when we shelter children from economic realities? Is she a bitch because her father left? Or simply a bad seed? That we never really find out didn't ruin Mildred Pierce for me. The story, after all, isn't called "Veda Pierce," and what remains is a surprising amount of fun, given that we're talking divorce, Depression and dysfunction.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • Cynthia Fuchs

    In HBO's miniseries Mildred Pierce, beginning on 27 March, she embodies the sort of ambition and resilience that might seem ideal during a depression-or even a great recession. That is, she's a function of her time (the one first imagined for her by James M. Cain) as well as ours.

    PopMatters Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    The new Mildred isn't perfect. Sometimes it has too much time on its hands, holding scenes just because it can. But watching it is time well-spent, because it reminds us that not everyone gets over the rainbow to the place where the dreams you dare to dream really do come true.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    After a plodding start, Mildred becomes increasingly absorbing.

    Variety Full Review
  • Paige Wiser

    Film buffs will have a field day analyzing the themes: social climbing, postwar materialism, feminism, lousy parenting, etc. But this is not event TV like "Boardwalk Empire."

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Linda Stasi

    If you're a purist James M. Cain fan, this is the miniseries for you. The intricacies of the story are laid out like a delicious Mildred chicken buffet. But, if you adore the original zippy, wise-cracking crime story with ankle-straps, order up Netflix instead.

    New York Post Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    For the most part, [Haynes] succeeds because he embraces the story's excesses instead of feeling they need to be swept under a metaphorical rug.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Dan Callahan

    A great movie is always a bit of a mystery, and that creative mystery is missing from the center of Haynes's Mildred Pierce, which cannot be faulted for craft or intelligence, but cannot be felt on the gut level of Cain, Crawford, or Curtiz, who might not have had a thought in his head about the story, but directs the hell out of it in pure visual and visceral movie terms.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Emily Nussbaum

    I did love Mildred Pierce, mostly, for much of its nearly six hours.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    The miniseries feels a little pokey in its early chapters, although it does an excellent job of establishing the primary characters, and then races too quickly toward its conclusion (wait, who is Mildred married to now?).

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    If you feel like you would like Mildred Pierce, in other words--if this kind of period piece is catnip to you--then I bet you will love Mildred Pierce. If not--well, at least, you might admire Haynes' enthusiasm.

    Time Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    Haynes takes a few melodramatic moments too many feet over the top--the injuring of Veda's throat, for example, which rises into an almost laughable delirium. But those excesses are forgivable in this otherwise masterful, faithful, and deluxe adaptation.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    Not everyone is going to respond to its purposeful languor and subliminal intent. Winslet is at once wonderful and yet enigmatically blank--very much as written in Haynes's and Jon Raymond's screenplay.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    The performance tends to be monochromatic, and in the end, so is Mildred Pierce. What's especially enjoyable here are the minor performances--especially Pearce as the louche Monty--and the many almost imperceptibly small details, right down to the crockery in a restaurant.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Troy Patterson

    Preferring to redomesticize Mildred Pierce, Haynes arrives at a film--a five-part, five-hour miniseries--that is merely pretty good.

    Slate Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    This nearly six-hour adaptation is an over-indulgently languid showcase for Winslet to shine as the iconic and ultimate Mother Martyr.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    Extending for five hours over three weekly segments, this luxuriously produced miniseries is so gorgeous, even in its re-creation of the Depression, that it practically shimmers. It's also slow to the point where "languid" doesn't even begin to do it justice.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    While the miniseries is more faithful to the 1941 James M. Cain novel of the same name, Todd Haynes' adaptation (he co-wrote the teleplay, directed and acted as one of the executive producers on this five-part bloated whale) is so draining, it might make you anemic.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    It's a five-part drama that is loyally, unwaveringly true to James M. Cain's 1941 novel and somehow not nearly as satisfying as the 1945 film noir that took shameless liberties with plot, characters and settings.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    You can blame Winslet, or Haynes, or both, but something doesn't fit, and it wrecks everything, above and beyond spending so much time on a story that could have been just as satisfyingly told at half the length.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    I came away from HBO's five-part series with a great deal of respect for Winslet's impassioned performance, but so many other aspects of Mildred Pierce worked against Winslet's naturalistic style that parts of the miniseries ended up being, frankly, a slog.

    The Huffington Post Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    When all the storytelling is coming to a climax, there's something missing--the same connection that was absent between Mildred and Veda from the start.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Nancy DeWolf Smith

    Over five-plus hours, the miniseries would have had time to explore every nuance. But there are so few that rise above artifice, and so little dramatic action driving the plot, that even an actor as talented as Ms. Winslet can hardly fill the dead spaces.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review