Teleplay by Todd Haynes & Jon Raymond; Directed by Todd Haynes
Glendale, CA, 1931.
Mildred Pierce throws her husband Bert out because of his affair with a local widow. The harsh economic times have taken a toll on Bert’s once lucrative real estate business and Mildred is forced to hunt for work to support herself and two daughters – 11-year-old Veda and 7-year-old Ray. She visits an employment agency on the advice of her neighbor Lucy Gessler, but refuses to consider jobs she feels are beneath her. Flattered by his attention, Mildred starts a casual affair with Wally Burgan, a lawyer who recently squeezed Bert out of his business. After cutting short a job interview with the arrogant fiancée of a movie director, Mildred has lunch at a local diner. When a waitress is fired, Mildred convinces the diner’s manager Ida to give her a shot. Later, Mildred tells Lucy she can’t suffer the humiliation of waiting on people, but Lucy insists she must. Mildred swears her friend to secrecy, not wanting Veda to know what her mother has been reduced to.