Mildred Pierce did everything she could to make her daughter happy, but everything wasn’t enough. Veda was a miserable, spoiled kid, an even more miserable, disdainful teenager and a hideous, hateful selfish young woman. Veda criticized, ridiculed and snubbed her mother, while Mildred almost let her blind love for her daughter destroy her.
The original 1945 movie, Mildred Pierce (Joan Crawford) and the recent HBO miniseries of the same name (Kate Winslet), have different endings, but the message is the same: Unconditional love doesn’t always invite gratitude.
It’s a sad fact: Some parents and kids just don’t belong together. Inherited genes notwithstanding, their chemistry is simply explosive. It’s usually no one’s fault entirely, even if children often blame their parents for their unhappiness.
At the end of the HBO series, Mildred finally says: “To hell with her.” It was a long overdue sentiment.