Year-end top 10 lists can get pretty mind-numbing, as you see the same titles crop up again and again and again… and again, but filmmaker John Waters has set himself apart by both by posting his a bit early and by, oh yeah, being John Waters. You wouldn’t seriously expect the man who gave us Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Hairspray to just name War Horse and The Artist like everrrrrrryone else, would you?

No, Waters’ tastes tend toward more unconventional choices, like Kaboom, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (seriously), with Pedro Almodovar‘s The Skin I Live In topping the list. Read the top 10 after the jump.

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What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 30 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!

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To kick off 2011, HBO is premiering two huge star-studded events. On February 12, they have The Sunset Limited starring Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones about two men brought together by extraordinary circumstances who debate the ins and outs of life. It’s based on a play by Cormac McCarthy (No Country For Old Men). Then on March 27, director Todd Haynes tackles the Depression era story Mildred Pierce with Oscar-winner Kate Winslet, Guy Pierce, Melissa Leo, Hope Davis and Evan Rachel Wood. It chronicles a single-mother’s attempts to win back her daughter’s love and is based on a 1941 novel by James M. Cain.

Check out multiple trailers for each of these HBO movies after the jump. Read More »

mildred-pierce-cast

I’m excited about the upcoming version of Mildred Pierce to be directed by Todd Haynes. Already set to star Kate Winslet in the title role, the HBO mini-series has just added a couple more good names: Guy Pearce and Evan Rachel Wood. Sure, Wood’s career has been spotty, but there’s something that suggests she can do a lot more than what we’ve seen her manage recently. I really liked her in Woody Allen’s Whatever Works, for example.

The obvious guess is that Pearce will play the husband from whom Mildred Pierce splits and that Wood will play their daughter. But that’s unconfirmed for now. [Production Weekly]

After the break, it’s buddy comedy time again, and the Hugh Laurie/Catherine Keener indie gets another cast member. Read More »

This is really just confirmation of a story that broke last August: director Todd Haynes is adapting the classic James M. Cain novel Mildred Pierce into a television mini series starring Kate Winslet. That’s the old news. The new stuff, which confirms speculation from last summer, is that HBO has bought into the project and will broadcast the eventual result, which Haynes will begin shooting in April.

This is awesome news. Most should know the 1945 movie version of the book at least by reputation — it’s among the most iconic Joan Crawford roles, and the one which won her an Oscar.

But the film simplified the novel’s plot, contracted the timeline, cut out plenty of sex and skewed the whole thing to be more of a thriller. All reasonable — do whatever you want to a novel when adapting, as long as the result is good — and very much in keeping with trends at the time. But given five hours to play with, there’s ample reason to expect Haynes to be a lot more faithful to the original text. Far From Heaven proved he has total control over melodrama; this is one I can’t wait to see. [Variety]

Kate Winslet is Todd Haynes’ Mildred Pierce

great_kate

[Safe] and Far From Heaven director Todd Haynes is moving to television for his next project, a mini-series adaptation of James M. Cain’s classic noir novel Mildred Pierce. He’s given Kate Winslet the nod to take the title role, a woman struggling to survive the depression and protect her daughter amidst a complex set of betrayals and even murder. It’s the character that gave Joan Crawford her only Best Actress Oscar win, courtesy of Michael Curtiz’ truly splendid 1945 feature film.

Curtiz and his screenwriters Ranald MacDougall, William Faulkner and Catherine Turney took a number of creative liberties with Cain’s novel, most notably changing its entire structure and set-up. Unlike the linear novel, the film recounts the story in flashback after Mildred Pierce has been arrested on suspicion of murder. It works quite wonderfully, and definitely creates even more of a sweaty and desperate tone than the novel has, and I’m very curious to see if Haynes will, or even can, adopt the same strategy. Personally, I’m hoping he returns to the chronological ordering of the novel and lets the pressure build steadily. I can see him doing a bent-out-of-shape soap like that quite superbly.

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