The other day I read that Clint Eastwood will be directing a new version of “A Star Is Born.” Oh, and he’s cast Beyonce in the role of the woman whose talent eclipses that of her husband’s. Maybe you’ve watched the original with Janet Gaynor and Frederic March. Or maybe you’re a fan of the Judy Garland/James Mason version. (I’m raising my hand here; I love, love, love that one.) Or maybe you fell for Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson as the star-crossed lovers. My question is…Does the world really need yet another retelling of this story, which makes me cry every single damn time I watch it?
(Movie trailers sure were overheated in those days, weren’t they?)
Now HBO is committing the ultimate sacrilege when they unveil their remake of one of my all-time favorite oldies, “Mildred Pierce.” My husband Michael hates Joan Crawford and we argue about this movie whenever it’s on TCM (he says she looks like a drag queen), but I think she was terrific in it. I’ve seen it so many times I can recite almost every line of dialogue.
HBO’s “Mildred Pierce” won’t be a feature film but rather a mini-series that will air in March. I have great respect for Kate Winslet as an actress, but I just can’t picture her as Mildred. Cannot. And I’m trying, believe me.
See what I mean? The mini-series just seems – I don’t know – artificial, as if director Todd Haynes was trying to imitate the look and feel of the original only with more bells and whistles. I’m sure I’ll tune in the night it debuts, but I suspect that I’ll mutter throughout: “Why couldn’t they have left well enough alone.”