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DP/30 Emmy Watch: Mildred Pierce, actress Evan Rachel Wood

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28 Responses to “DP/30 Emmy Watch: Mildred Pierce, actress Evan Rachel Wood”

  1. Don R. Lewis says:

    Even though Kate Winslet got all the attention for her acting in MILDRED PIERCE, I thought Evan Rachel Wood was really the more outstanding performance. She played her role uncannily like the actress who played her role in the first few episodes. Plus she walked the line perfectly between damaged sociopath and raging c-word.

  2. arisp says:

    She’s a delight (not to mention smoking hot). I think one of the VERY small handful of child actresses who will be around, at the top of her game, for a very long time.

  3. LexG says:


    Maybe I’m so used to expecting INGENUES to act all awkward and grumpy like K-Stew, and maybe it’s the edgy Marilyn Manson-dating persona…. but always (needlessly?) surprised by how genuinely nice, cool, professional, pleasant, unpretentious, gracious and comfortable in her own skin THE ERW is.

    Seriously, Poland, you didn’t need a guy to hold the boom or anything that day? (I kid.)

  4. sanj says:

    i hated this movie – it was made for old film critics.

    its amazing how much she looks like Keira Knightley in this

    i love the generic answers throughout the interview .. DP asked about which movies she watches twice and she didn’t give any answers.

  5. ramesh says:

    sexy post , good work

  6. Peter says:

    I thought she looks like Kristen Dunst.

  7. hcat says:

    Haven’t seen Mildred Pierce yet, so can’t speak to her performance there but as for her other work I think the early promise of her carear has dimmed a bit through constant repetition. She does the Lolita bit well but Christ its like every role whether its comedy or drama she gets involved with someone 2-3 times her age. She has talent, and while I am glad she has chosen edgier fare and stayed away from the Disney teen machine, I keep waiting for the next phase of her carear to begin.

  8. Bob Burns says:

    very good interview/questions. thanks.

  9. Don R. Lewis says:

    hcat- then you won’t like her in MILDRED PIERCE 😉

  10. Rob says:

    I wish I’d seen a theatrical movie this year that’s as good as Mildred Pierce. Maybe Poetry.

  11. LexG says:

    THIRTEEN is one of my favorite movies of all time.

  12. chris says:

    So, hcat, you haven’t seen her wildly inventive performance in “Mildred Pierce” and I’m guessing you didn’t see her completely dissimilar (and fantastic) performance in “The Conspirator” and yet you feel comfortable commenting on her alleged downward career trajectory?

  13. hcat says:

    You are right chris, have not seen either of them. Now please explain where I mentioned downward trajectory. I mentioned talent, ability to choose edgy stuff, and desire to see different future work. I just felt that when you look at her resume a pattern seems to stand out and its not one where she falls in love with that nice boy her own age. Now this might be typecasting on Hollywood’s part since they now she can pull it off, or her own choice of projects, I was merely hoping that she changes it up a bit (and as you say Conspirator may indeed be a step in the right direction).

  14. LexG says:

    She falls in love with a nice boy her own age in the awesome video for Green Day’s When September Ends.

    Also SHE RULES. WOOD POWER. One of the coolest chicks in Hollywood, why does she need to be doing Kate Hudson movies?

    ERW and K-Stew should do a movie together for Catherine Hardwick.

  15. hcat says:

    Are there only two choices? Young seductress or Kate Hudson? Yes she has had roles where she doesn’t bed someone a decade older, but it seems she has done more than her fair share and I was simply stating that it has tinted my view of her.

    I would say the same about Naomi Watts. She gave the single greatest performance of the last decade. Better than Day-Lewis in Blood, better than Muhe in Lives of Others. And not every role since then has been the same open wound-broken soul-put through the meat ringer-sanity hanging by a thread woman, but there have been enough of them (21 Grams, Funny Games, Ring) that I have cooled a bit about rapaciously waiting for her next project.

  16. yancyskancy says:

    hcat: Nothing Lolita about THE WRESTLER. I haven’t seen ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, KING OF CALIFORNIA or RUNNING WITH SCISSORS, but I haven’t heard about any Lolita angle. TRUE BLOOD doesn’t really fit either. And her resume isn’t THAT extensive yet, so this “trend” is what — like 3 or 4 roles?

    Been a fan since ONCE AND AGAIN. Only thing I didn’t really care for her in was PRETTY PERSUASION, a really bad movie in which she struggled with the script’s curdled cleverness, slurring her words in an effort to sound simultaneously bright and bored.

  17. LexG says:

    Once and Again where she and Mischa Barton did lesbian kissing YEP YEP YEP YEP YEP YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP


    Agreed on Pretty Persuasion, pretty much ROCK BOTTOM of the whole “cutting/catty high school caste system satire where 17 year olds talk like drag queens doing snaps” subgenre, and also a really mean, ugly, foul movie.

  18. hcat says:

    And I said above, not every role. She was good in Wrestler and her talent shows in almost everything she does, even in trainwrecks like Running with Scissors. And it is precisely because her resume is not that extensive that these 4 or 5 similiar roles stick out. Once she gets a few more under her belt and moves into more adult roles, i.e. not playing someones kid, this early part of her career will not stand out as much. And again as I say above I look forward to seeing them.

    I feel like I am qualifying each statement I am making that this is not the only thing that she does, and each time giving her praise for her ability and the fact that she did not move into Lindsey Lohan roles after her initial success. Am I being overly disparaging in some way?

  19. yancyskancy says:

    hcat: I didn’t see your previous post; it went up while I was composing my previous post. So forgive the redundancy.

    I was mainly responding to your initial post, which said re the Lolita bit: “…its like every role whether its comedy or drama she gets involved with someone 2-3 times her age.” I guess you were exaggerating; your next post called it “a pattern that seems to stand out.”

    Anyway, no biggie.

  20. chris says:

    Hcat, it does not seem to me that you were overly disparaging or necessarily disparaging at all. I simply thought it was odd to say both that her promise has dimmed (which sounds like a downward career trajectory comment to me — sorry if I’m misinterpreting) and that you had not seen the last couple things she did in that career.

  21. hcat says:

    Promise was dimmed was merely speaking on my personal feelings for her. Her career trajectory would be would be the oppurtunities she is getting and her public profile which is doing quite well. If Chloe Moritz or Halle Stanfield are in same postition as Wood eight years down they line they should consider themselves fortunate.

    but yes no biggie.

  22. Joshua says:

    I thought she was pretty forced on True Blood, but I liked her in Mildred. Her acting style worked for the self-constructed character that Veda was.

  23. yancyskancy says:

    In MILDRED, I particularly liked that Wood’s fierce, somewhat stylized performance as Veda would have been equally at home in the original film. Morgan Turner, who played the young Veda, pulled this off as well. Melissa Leo similarly attempted a retro effect as Mildred’s pal Lucy, but on her I found it distracting. Go figure.

  24. Don R. Lewis says:

    I LOVED Melissa Leo’s voice work in MILDRED PIERCE! Funny you found it distracting. And, I’m just gonna say it….

    MILDRED PIERCE was “o.k.” at best. I think everyone got the memo that it’s “better than anything in the theater so far” and has been parroting it ad nauseam. Not picking on you per se, Rob, but you said that and it reminded me.

    While I loved and respected the way Haynes was given all the room and cinematic space in the world to make an epic, sprawling, poetic film….other than that. So what? Winslet was “o.k.” when she’s usually spectacular. The supporting cast was stronger than her (which I suppose is the oint) but even though I liked MP, it’s certainly not some modern masterpiece people are making it out to be.

    I honestly don’t recall any amazing scenes or stand-out moments. I certainly don’t want to revisit the film again on blu-ray, etc. Does everything Winslet does automatically get elevated to the amazingly incredible? And I say that as a pretty huge Winslet fan too. Anyone else (beside fucking Sanj) really nonplussed by MP?

  25. yancyskancy says:

    I didn’t seek out many reviews of MP; the ones I saw were respectful and definitely mostly positive, but I don’t recall much talk of “modern masterpiece.” Didn’t realize that was the prevailing reaction.

    I think it’s a solid job of making the original elements of the story compelling (without the first film version’s film noir additions). It’s certainly beautifully designed, and I appreciated that Ed Lachman didn’t indulge in the kind of lighting cliches you often see in period pieces — maybe this is related to why some of the more self-consciously 30s touches, like Leo’s voice work, distracted me a bit. While FAR FROM HEAVEN was of course very self-consciously a “50s film,” that was pretty much the point. Haynes’ intentions were different this time, or he probably would’ve shot the thing in B&W and made it a movie, not a mini-series.

    I suppose my only substantial beef with MP is that you really have to be committed to make it past the first couple of hours. While I think mini-series was the way to go (I actually have an MP mini on a list of dream projects in an old notebook from like 20 years ago!), the story didn’t really need that much set-up. The acting and tech aspects kept me watching, but I wasn’t really hooked until the Mildred/Veda conflicts started coming to the fore.

  26. LexG says:

    Evan Rachel WOOD.


    What’s with the new hair, anyway? GROW IT BACK.

  27. Joshua says:

    I think the Slant reviewer pretty much nailed Mildred Pierce:

    “A native, instinctive talent like Crawford or Cain goes for an effect and lets the meaning of the effect take care of itself; interpretation is our job, not theirs. For calculated types like Haynes and Winslet, the meanings have to be all spelled out, so that finally this Mildred Pierce works on a dozen intellectual planes but never has the brio of a full-blooded melodrama where we might be able to discover something that hasn’t been planned. Crawford is the role of Mildred, and it doesn’t matter that she can’t actually act parts of it; whereas Winslet inexhaustibly fills out every single shade of this woman’s obliviousness, Crawford will simply be oblivious, with no actorly fuss. The war between Mildred and Veda in this miniseries is sometimes mind-blowing in its degree of insight and comprehensiveness, bringing out all of Cain’s rude inklings and some he might not have known he intended, yet not one moment has the force of Crawford screaming “Veda!” before tearing up that check.”

  28. tygg says:

    Crawford is the role of Mildred, and it doesn’t matter that she can’t actually act parts of it; whereas Winslet inexhaustibly fills out every single shade of this woman’s obliviousness, – nice comments

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