Mildred Pierce: Season 1, Episode 2

Part Two (27 Mar. 2011)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
8.0
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Mildred brings a sample of her pies into the diner and they're a big hit with the customers. Soon she gets an order for 35 pies a week and the orders start to pile up from other restaurants... See full summary »

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Title: Part Two (27 Mar 2011)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Ray Pierce
Evan Thompson ...
Man with a Cap
Brenda Wehle ...
Mrs. Turner
Murphy Guyer ...
Diane Kagan ...
Mrs. Pierce
...
Wally Burgan (as James LeGros)
Kenneth Jennings ...
Small Man (as Ken Jennings)
Robb Webb ...
Radio Announcer (voice)
Todd Aubrey Davis ...
Houseman
Hope Davis ...
Mrs. Forrester (credit only)
...
Newsboy
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Storyline

Mildred brings a sample of her pies into the diner and they're a big hit with the customers. Soon she gets an order for 35 pies a week and the orders start to pile up from other restaurants as well. Veda discovers her waitress uniforms and Mildred is forced to admit what she does for a living. The selfish Veda thinks it's all so degrading. Mildred tells her she plans on opening a restaurant of her own and eventually asks Wally to develop an estimate of what it would cost to set herself up, but he has another idea for her. With a divorce from husband Bert she's able to buy and convert a house into a restaurant. On her last day at the diner, she leaves early to spend time at the beach with one of the customers, Monty Beragon. She returns home the next day to learn that her youngest daughter is seriously ill in hospital. Written by garykmcd

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Drama

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27 March 2011 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Goofs

Just after Monty and Mildred leave her house in the car for the first time they pull up to an intersection that has a diamond shaped stop sign with white letters on a red background. However, the octagonal shaped sign was adopted in 1922 (almost a decade before the film is set) by the American Association of State Highway Officials and used thereafter for "STOP" signs, in part so that drivers could recognize that it was a stop sign from behind and prevent confusion with other traffic signs, and from 1924 through 1954 were composed of black letters on a yellow background. It was changed in 1954 to the present white on red background to reflect the "red equals stop" of street lights. See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz No. 1 in E flat Major, Op. 18.
("Grande Valse brilliante")
Written by Fryderyk Chopin
Performed by Idil Biret
Courtesy of 'Naxos'
By arrangement with 'Source/Q'
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Mildred's place
17 April 2011 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Mildred is seen practicing at home for her new job at the hash house. It proves to be a help. When we see her again, she has mastered the art of serving tables well. She notices how horrible the pies are; customers of her restaurant find them almost inedible. After a couple of bites, most of the desserts are discarded. In talking to Ida, her kind colleague, she proposes to make the pies for the restaurant for the same price the owner is paying. The reaction to her efforts are appreciated; everyone loves her pies!

At the home front, Mildred has taken Letty full time to help her prepare all the baking. Veda shows a cruel strain in making Letty wear the uniform she has found in her mother's closet, something that upsets Mildred. Veda is going through a difficult time coping with her father's desertion.

Wally is still coming around for sex with Mildred whenever the girls are not home. On one of those occasions, he tells her about having an empty property that was part of the Pierce Homes project. She has told Wally about her plans for opening her own place. Mildred has studied the market and has noticed a few things of how to make it work on her own. The only problem that without the proper divorce, she does not qualify to get the place Wally has proposed. Bert is swayed to grant the separation and the preparations for her restaurant becomes a reality.

On her last day of work, Mildred meets the charming Monty Beragon who came in for breakfast. Monty likes what he sees in Mildred, and she is obviously flattered when he offers to take her to Santa Barbara. Ida encourages her to accept the offer. They go to Monty's bungalow by the beach where they enjoy an amazing time in bed. Mildred suddenly feels wanted by this playboy, who realizes she had been long neglected a fulfilling sex life.

As Mildred arrives at her house from having experience a bliss unknown to her, she is greeted by a neighbor who tells her that Ray, her younger daughter has been taken to the hospital. Mildred rushes to be at her side. She finds Bert, Veda and her in-laws already there. Suddenly, she feels badly for not being there for the girl. Nothing proves effective in treating Ray, so she dies, leaving a contrite Mildred to deal with her own guilt over losing Ray.

The second chapter of the series shows the rise of Mildred Pierce from her poor surroundings to a new status. Todd Haynes directed with his usual style. The writing is solid by the director and his collaborators, Jon and Jonathan Raymond. The atmosphere of the era is recreated in ways that surprise us. Mr. Haynes shows an affinity to the basic point of the James Cain's novel, in which it is based.

Kate Winslet makes an impression with her Mildred. She shows a passion in her awakening to being desired by Monty. Her take on Mildred is explicit and has nothing to with the one Joan Crawford portrayed in the movies. Of course, times have changed from that hypocrite time in Hollywood, so nudity is part of the new way of doing films. Ms. Winslet rises to the occasion beautifully. The idea of a sensual Mildred will, no doubt, surprise some viewers.

Guy Pearce, a good actor, makes a splash with his playboy Monty. He gets to have his way with a Mildred Pierce that has been starved for love for a long time. James LeGros, who has gained a lot of weight, appears as Wally. Melissa Leo only has a short appearance in this episode. Morgan Turner's Veda is full of pretension playing the eldest daughter. Bryan O'Byrne is good as Bert.


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