Mildred Pierce

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1. In her article, "The Genre", Jeanine Basinger says there are 3 main purposes of the Woman’s Film. Which purpose (choose one) do you think best describes the messages in Mildred Pierce? Explain why. According to Jeanine Basinger’s (1993) 3 main purposes of the Woman’s Film, I believe Mildred Pierce is a good example of the purpose: “to provide a temporary visual liberation of some sort, however small—an escape into a purely romantic love, into sexual awareness, into luxury, or into the rejection of the female role that might only come in some form of questioning (“What other choices do I have?”)” (p.13). Basinger (1993) argues that “Every movie female has to confront the major action of the woman’s film: making a choice” (p.19). In Mildred Pierce, Mildred made so many choices: decided to go outside to find a job, worked as a waitress to make a living, opened her own restaurant to meet Veda’s increasing material requirement, got married with Monte to promote her family’s social status and kept silent in her daughter’s murdering case to protect her daughter. Mildred did all these things only for her daughter presenting her great motherhood. These choices could liberate her temporarily, but not for long run. We can see from the end of the film that Mildred and her first husband, Bert, went back together in a fresh morning. I think the end indicates that no matter how a woman makes a choice, it will only provide a temporary liberation and she has to go back to her original position at the end. Therefore, I believe this purpose of the Woman’s film best describes the messages in Mildred Pierce 2. Into which Women’s Film category (Molly Haskell's four categories) would you place Mildred Pierce? Why? (Use the Woman's Film Lecture notes for this question). There are four Women’s Film categories according to Molly Haskell. They are: sacrifice, affliction, choice and competition. I believe that the film Mildred Pierce belongs to category of sacrifice: Mildred Pierce...
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