Portland novelist Jon Raymond,
Wendy and Lucy
Cineastes already know that "Mildred Pierce" was also made into the 1945 film of the same name, directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Joan Crawford in one her most iconic performances. While that version added a murder and excised much of the sex of Cain's novel, we imagine Haynes will be going for a more accurate adaptation, especially with five hours at his disposal to really dig in deep.
Haynes has never hid his love for melodrama with strong female characters, particularly the studied and opulent chamber dramas of Douglas Sirk ("Far From Heaven" being the most direct homage), and he certainly has the right sensibility to tackle Cain's novel. Brave for its time, "Mildred Pierce" tells the story of the titular character, who strives to maintain her family's middle-class lifestyle in the midst of the Great Depression. When her unemployed husband is unable to provide, she separates from him, and with their children in tow, strikes out on their own. While Mildred achieves great financial success, her relationship with her eldest daughter, Veda, becomes strained when she takes for granted the status they've attained.