Awards Season Movie Review: Mank

mankRenowned director David Fincher tackles an unfilmed screenplay by his late father, telling the story of washed-up screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz as he convalesces in a remote rental cottage to recover from a car accident and write the script to Citizen Kane for Orson Welles. Anyone who knows about that movie knows that it’s lead character is not-so-subtly (and not-so-flatteringly) based on newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst; and much of this movie is spent in flashbacks as “Mank” reminisces about the events that led to him having such a dim view of the man and most of his associates. Making a film about another film, especially one so highly-regarded, can be a tricky proposition, as you are inviting comparisons to your subject. Not so surprisingly, this movie can’t hold up to most of them. On its own however, it’s a real treat. The black and white cinematography is always gorgeous to look at, and the score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross perfectly fits the tone. The performances are all impeccable, with Gary Oldman absolutely nailing the mixture of stubborn wit and deep-rooted sadness required of the title role. The smartly drawn parallels to today’s political situation only make this already wonderful look at old Hollywood even better. ★★★★ – Sean Farrell

Available on Netflix

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And if this has you interested in watching Citizen Kane:

Available on Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack & HBO Max

★★★★★ = Excellent | ★★★★ = Very Good | ★★★ = Good | ★★ = Fair | ★ = Poor

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