The lives of two lovelorn spouses from separate marriages, a registered sex offender, and a disgraced ex-police officer intersect as they struggle to resist their vulnerabilities and temptations in suburban Massachusetts.
Centers on Nessa Stein, a woman who inherits her father's arms business and finds herself in a international maelstrom when as she continues to promote the reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.
Depressed single mom Adele and her son Henry offer a wounded, fearsome man a ride. As police search town for the escaped convict, the mother and son gradually learn his true story as their options become increasingly limited.
Glendale, California, 1931: Mildred Pierce, a young mother with a talent for baking, is left a "grass widow" after throwing her husband, Bert, out of the house. Forced to hunt for work to support herself and her two young daughters, 11-year-old Veda and seven-year-old Ray, Mildred visits an employment agency, only to encounter job opportunities she feels are beneath her. Amidst her job search, she receives dating advice from her friend and neighbor, Lucy Gessler, and begins an unexpected affair with an ex-business partner of her husband's, Wally Burgan. When Mildred receives a call from the agency regarding an opening as a housekeeper to a wealthy socialite, she reluctantly agrees to meet with her. After cutting the acerbic interview short, Mildred seeks refuge at a local diner, Cristofor's Café, where fate, and a waitress named Ida, will play a role in shaping her future. Written by
Even at the extended length this is a mere patch on the classic Joan Crawford noir. Kate Winslet is a great actress, assuredly a more accomplished thespian than Crawford but the part fit Joan like a glove but by hewing so close to the novel this refocuses the drama in too many directions and loses the impact of any of them. Another problem is the part of Veda. The casting of two actresses minimizes the impact of the role for a start and the portrayals of both actresses while not bad can not possibly compete with the cancerous, psychopathic venality of Ann Blyth's pit viper in the original. It's bandbox pretty in the attention to detail of the sets but overall lacking a certain something...glamour? a proper consistent mood? to make it compelling that the Crawford film pulled off effortlessly.
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