Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Hats Of "Mildred Pierce".

 One of my latest and very much enjoyed discoveries is the mini series titled "Mildred Pierce": 5 part drama starring one of my favorite actresses Kate Winslet, and based on the 1941 novel by M.Cain. I very rarely get to enjoy TV, but this time I have spent almost entire Sunday watching all 5 parts and barely able to pull myself away from the screen.
The base of the story is an age-old primal fear a mother’s dread of being supplanted or destroyed by a daughter. Mildred’s tortured relationship with her spoiled, monstrous daughter Veda, is an even darker variation on the classic younger woman/older woman rivalries that fueled  so many other novels, plays and movies before.
The movie is kept very close to the book in every little detail.Characters speak in 1930s slang, getting “stinko” on bootlegger gin or behaving like “saps.” The music, the rich cinematography also do justice to the era of Great Depression. Very close attention is payed to the smallest period details: from the thick, mottled window panes in a Spanish-style bungalow, square stop signs on two-lane roads to the beach, even glasses and dishes.
The same attention to detail is given when it comes to the extraordinary costumes and, of course, hats! Hats are everywhere in this movie. I could not help but notice how well thought through they are so much so that they become inseparable part of the on screen character. Mildred's choices of hats perfectly reflect her state of mind and her circumstances. Mostly brown shades executed in such a way that Kate Winslet transformed right before our own eyes into middle-aged  frumpy housewife.
The design of the hats ladies used to wear in 40-s and 50-s is recreated to a "t" . Magnificent work! Pin pinched blocked felts, straw hats and elaborate elegance of the hats of Mildred's second Wedding - took my breath away.
One more "Bravo!" goes to the actress Evan Rachel Wood who plays poisonous Veda. She has managed to create such an intensity on screen that at times, I swear, I felt like reaching out through the screen scratching out her eyes. Vicious in her glamour, shameless, monstrous to her mother , lucky in executing all her terrible plots against her own Mother and so beautiful!
The choices of hats for Vida are also very illustratory. They create a perfect illusion of Beauty under the skin of which hides a snake: lush chocolate velvet hat, black sequin pill box hat with veiling, amazing pink lace and taffeta hat custom made for Veda's performance on the stage - all  became a part of the ill nature of Veda's character.
Without giving away the story line I would strongly encourage every one of you to watch "Mildred Pierce". I am absolutely certain that it will become on of the greatest classic in modern cinema. I know that there is one more version of "Mildred Pierce" that was filmed earlier starring Joan Crawford, but to me the latest version is remarkably powerful and intense.
I am wishing you all great week ahead!:-) It is, finally, sunny in New York and I am enjoying beautiful weather more than ever!


David Toms said...

Anya, you should see the original movie from 1941 as well! I love period pieces and love watching them for the fashion and yes the hats.

Haute World said...

I haven't seen this yet, since this hasn't aired in the UK, but I'll definitely have to check it out when it does. I think both Kate Winslet and Evan Rachel Wood are incredibly talented actresses. Thank you for your rundown on the hats and how they fit the characters and their evolution. Fantastic job!

janettaylor said...

I have not seen this yet, but your photos are definitely inspired... I love Kate Winslet!


Jan said...

I don't know if I'd enjoy this remake (love the original)
did enjoy your post though Anya
(as always).

lorenabr said...

Love the original. I have not seen this one! Lovely designs!

Rachel {Inspiration in Italy} said...

You have completely struck my interest with this, I must see especially if you recommend! Evan Rachel Wood is certainly beautiful, and Kate Winslet is one of my favourite actresses as well. She is phenomenal. The hats all look incredible and even in the photos they seem to represent such character so well! I'm so intrigued, and plan to check this out absolutely! I hope you had a great weekend and I'm glad to hear you are enjoying some sunshine!!


Pratishtha Durga said...

Anya, thanks for sharing this. i hadn't known about the movie, but it look so beautiful and captivating. kate is such a fine actress. Would watch her any day. Your review makes the film so alluring.

Love all the hats.

Kat said...

i adore the fashion of that period, hopefully the mini-series comes to germany one day :)

the images look beautiful!

saya said...

I love this post Anya..another great costuming by Ann Roth! :)