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Posts Tagged ‘Kate Winslet’

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has announced the nominees for this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards (which will be presented on September 18). Unsurprisingly, the costume dramas got a lot of love, though there were some sad (and some surprising) omissions and nominations. Here’s a breakdown:

Mildred Pierce got 21 nominations, more than any other program, which makes me think that the voters were on autopilot here. “An HBO costume drama? Yeah, go ahead and nominate it for everything. It’s HBO! We love HBO! And Kate Winslet has an Oscar, so let’s nominate her too.” So, it’s got nominations for lead actress in a miniseries or TV movie for Kate Winslet (big shock there); best supporting actor for both Guy Pearce and Brian F. O’Byrne (who played Bert Pierce. Really, voters? Did you even watch the miniseries? This guy was ok, but not that memorable); best supporting actress for Evan Rachel Wood, Melissa Leo, and Mare Winningham; and, of course, best TV movie or miniseries. Plus a number of nominations in the technical categories. I’m not sure about this. I didn’t think Mildred Pierce was all that good. It dragged, a lot of the roles were miscast (including Mildred herself, and believe me, I love Kate Winslet. I just didn’t love her here). Nominating the actor who played Bert and the actress who played Mildred’s waitress friend is absurd to me when there were other actors who deserved nominations more for doing far better work with more memorable characters. You know, like half the cast of Pillars of the Earth (and on that subject–wow, that gets nominated for an Emmy this year? Doesn’t it feel like ages since we watched that? It was the first thing I recapped her. Ahh, the memories). POTE, by the way, got one major nomination: in the TV movie or miniseries category, which to me just says that the voters don’t watch Starz.

Or Showtime, apparently, aside from Dexter, because The Borgias got no love whatsoever, apart from a couple of technical categories, which I think totally sucks, because The Borgias is really good.

The voters did, wisely, ignore the execrable Camelot. I guess they feel the same way as I do about that.

Boardwalk Empire was better received than Game of Thrones, which sounds about right to me. All Game of Thrones got was a nomination for best drama and best supporting actor in a drama for Peter Dinklage, who I think really is the best part of that show. I’ll be cheering him on, along with John Slattery from Mad Men. BE, on the other hand, got nominations for best drama series, best lead actor (Steve Buscemi), and best supporting actress (Kelly Macdonald). I’m a bit surprised Michael Shannon and/or Michael Pitt didn’t get any nods for supporting actor, or even Michael Stuhlbarg, Stephen Graham, and Vincent Piazza, but c’est la vie. I’d be happy to see Buscemi or Macdonald win, but he’s going up against John Hamm for Mad Men (who will probably win) and Kyle Chandler for Friday Night Lights (whom I really, really, really want to see awarded for the show’s final season), so it’s probably not going to happen. And she’s facing down two actresses from The Good Wife, which people seem to love, and Christina Hendricks from Mad Men, who really deserves some recognition, so I’m not all that hopeful here.

Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs both got plenty of nominations to brag about, and for the love of God, let Downton win, because it actually deserves it. Upstairs Downstairs was a mess, which is probably why it didn’t get nominated for best TV movie or miniseries. Even The Kennedys got nominated in that category. Mildred Pierce will probably take that one, but it’d be nice to see Downton get it, because I think it deserves the top prize. There’s almost no way Elizabeth McGovern will win in the best actress category (Winslet will get it for sure), but I’d scream and throw things if Jean Marsh wins for her turn as the whiny, useless Rose. Maggie Smith goes head-to-head with Eileen Atkins in the supporting actress category, which is kind of awesome. Hard to say what’ll happen there—they may split the British costume drama votes and Evan Rachel Wood or Melissa Leo could take it. I’m not sure I’d be heartbroken by that—they both did really good jobs with their Mildred Pierce roles. Downton’s got a really good shot in the writing category, I think. I’d be interested to see what Jean Marsh has to say if they do win. Will she start bleating about how they ripped her off again?

Wierdest nomination: Mildred Pierce in the special visual effects for a miniseries, movie, or special category. What visual effects? I’m leaning towards Pillars of the Earth for that one.

What’s your opinion, readers? Any nominations (or lack thereof) surprise you? Anyone you’re hoping to see win (or lose)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Previously on Mildred Pierce: Mildred opened a chain of restaurants but was still unable to please the dreadful Veda, who finally took one step too far when she wound up blackmailing some poor sap. So, Mildred kicked her out of the house, and Veda became a singing star.

Mildred intercepts Mr. Treviso as he’s leaving the music school and introduces herself as Veda’s mother. That immediately puts the man on his guard. Mildred fails to notice and plows on, telling him she’d like him to start forwarding Veda’s bills directly to her. Treviso tells her no way and excuses himself. Mildred gapes for a bit and follows him outside to protest. Treviso speaks for the audience when he asks Mildred why she wants this girl back so badly anyway. He continues to be awesome by going on to say that Veda’s a really talented coloratura, but a spectacularly awful human being, and he’s not interested in pissing her off.  Plus, Veda warned him that, after she was on the radio, her pathetic mother would probably come around and start trying to pay for the lessons, and if that was the case, he was to send her packing. Wow, does Veda have her mother pegged or what? How does she know Mildred so well and Mildred knows Veda so little?

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Previously on Mildred Pierce: Mildred opened her first restaurant, to great acclaim, and started raking in enough cash to keep Veda somewhat satisfied. She also allowed Monty to start a seriously inapproprate relationship with her young daughter, and when she finally wakes up to that (and to how totally insufferable he’s making her kid), Mildred breaks up with him.

Jaunty music brings us to the coast, where waves crash, seagulls wheel, and Mildred and Lucy arrive at a large clapboard house to scope it out as the next outpost of Mildred’s fast-growing waffle house empire. Lucy approves, even though she wonders if Mildred’s stretching herself a bit thin, financially, having already opened a second place in Beverly Hills, run by Ida. Mildred wants Lucy to run the new beachfront place, and after some persuading, Lucy agrees, as long as they don’t do chicken. She knows people don’t come to the shore for chicken, so they’ll come for surf ‘n turf instead, which Lucy apparently invents right then and there. I’ve never really understood the great appeal of surf ‘n turf. I’ve never looked down at a plate and thought “you know what this lobster really needs? A steak!” I mean, how much saturated fat and cholesterol do you really need in one dish?

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Previously on Mildred Pierce: Mildred kicked her husband to the curb, got a job as a waitress to pay the bills, and was forced to open a restaurant to win the approval of her dreadful daughter, Veda. She also met and started sleeping with Monty Beragon, and then her younger daughter died.

The camera sloooooowly pans over Mildred’s bare feet, up her body, to her arm, still cuddling Veda as they lay in bed together, spooned up, asleep, apparently the day after Rae’s death. Mildred wakes, takes a second to look over at the empty bed next to Vedas, and holds Veda a little closer.

Later, downstairs, Bert’s sitting at the table, looking like he just got sucker punched, which he did, in a sense. Lucy’s there too. She offers Bert a drink but he gently refuses and then goes and stands in front of the window and stares out. Lucy hustles out to scare up a black dress for Mildred, and Bert turns around, looking lost, and tells Mildred that Rae’s in heaven, because she was sweet and wonderful and deserves to be. Mildred agrees and goes and hugs him.

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Welcome back to the wonderful world of Mildred Pierce. We rejoin our leading lady loading up pie plates with rocks in her bedroom so she can practice carrying multiple laden dishes. Smart. The lyrics to the no doubt carefully chosen song are “I’m always chasing rainbows, watching clouds passing by,” for those who are interested in such things.

Mildred’s practice is interrupted by the sound of the front door closing and the kids squealing happily. She goes downstairs and finds Bert, who explains he stopped by to pick up a few things he left in his desk. Mildred smiles and invites him to put his feet up for a while. The girls happily fill him in on their doings, and then Vita asks him if he’d like a Scotch, in that very hoity-toity proper way of hers. Bert seems surprised there’s Scotch to be had, considering it’s illegal and all, but he says he’s cool with a drink, so Mildred, her smile getting tight, goes to fetch it.

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Now that they’ve conquered the 1920’s with Boardwalk Empire, HBO’s decided to move on to the ‘30’s, and they made the rather gutsy decision to do Mildred Pierce, a novel that already has a classic movie version starring Joan Crawford, who won an Academy Award for the role. HBO countered that by bringing their own Oscar winner—Kate Winslet, and stuffing the rest of the cast with other highly respected actors (including recent winner Melissa Leo, who plays one of my favorite characters). It’s early days yet, so it’s hard to tell if this version treats the source material better than the 1945 film. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Moody music plays against an art-deco background that looks a bit like stylized sunbeams. Interestingly, the supporting players are all introduced before Winslet and the title. They come at the very end of the credits, in big, bold letters.

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