I’ve already professed my love for the Joan Crawford movie version of the James M. Cain novel, but now that I’ve seen the first installment of HBO’s miniseries I can say without equivocation: Why mess with a good thing?
The Crawford movie had a compelling story with a fast pace and character actors who spoke snappy dialogue. The miniseries? Talk about a snooze. I don’t care how deliriously the critics raved. I nearly drifted off several times, because there was nothing keeping me interested.
Kate Winslet is always terrific, but she’s so one-note here, so frumpy in her brown dresses and brown accessories, so hard to like, that I missed Mommie Dearest Joan Crawford much more than I expected to. The music that drones on in the background is annoying. The supporting actors mumble their lines, especially the guy who plays Wally. And the kid who plays Vida as a young girl is nothing special.
Maybe my attitude will change once Mildred’s restaurant takes off, her relationship with Monty goes south and the grown-up Vida becomes more of a sinister presence, but I may not even watch next Sunday night. That’s how turned off I was. Bummer.