A new look at HBO’s “Mildred Pierce” — and the kiss from Kate

March is here and for many of us, that means the final countdown to Kate Winslet giving Evan Rachel Wood a lip dance in the HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce, which premiers Sunday, March 27.

Sure, the context of the kiss is a little weird, but when those two are involved, I’m willing to risk a few uncomfortable moments. This is the great Kate’s first venture into TV-land and we can look forward to a very different Mildred than the one Joan Crawford gave us.

We’re also promised a new rendition of the James Cain novel — and a fresh take on the plot. The HBO version splits the novel into five parts, set during the Depression, and offers a view of a young Mildred and her stormy relationship with daughter Veda, played by Wood.

Winslet watched only the first five minutes of the 1945 version, she told reporters at TCA, because she didn’t want to be influenced by Crawford’s performance.

“When you’re playing Mildred Pierce and you know that someone utterly extraordinary has played that role before, it’s a fine line. What do you do?” Winslet said. “I knew that I wouldn’t be able to un-see it, and I also knew that I had to honor the book. I had to be very true to the Mildred Pierce that is in that brilliant novel.”

HBO released a new trailer for the series this week:

We also get a wonderful behind-the-scenes look at the making of Mildred Pierce in “An Invitation to the Set.”

As much as I resist remakes of classic films, I think this version of Mildred Pierce has the makings of a classic itself. Are you as excited as I am?

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