This highbrow excerpt from a review at Cineme-Scope.com is adorned with vocabulary Veda Pierce herself might like to affect. Obscure enough to avoid spoilers for those on the West Coast where HBO’s Mildred Pierce is just beginning, but rousing enough to inspire our East Coast readers who’ve already seen tonight’s installments to offer their own impressions.
Claiming to be influenced by the ‚Äúlong-lens naturalism‚Äù of ‚Äò70s films such as The Godfather (1972) and Chinatown (1974), Haynes‚Äô style, augmented by cinematographer Ed Lachman‚Äôs muted colour scheme, is relatively restrained… But Haynes‚Äô talent for balancing intimacy with a distancing mise en sc√®ne in which the actors are viewed through windows, bars, or mirrors is gloriously Fassbinderian. Mildred may be less calculating than Maria Braun, or less of a victim than Martha in the Fassbinder film of the same name. Nevertheless, Mildred Pierce manages to balance operatic intensity with analytical prowess‚Äîit captures our current anxieties without falling prey to a Mad Men-like tendency to treat the past with blithe condescension.