- General info
Gary Oldman stars as screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz in this biographical drama directed by David Fincher. The film follows New York playwright and drama critic Herman 'Mank' Mankiewicz as he becomes a successful screenwriter in 1930s Hollywood. Despite battling an alcohol addiction for much of his career, Mank achieves career-defining acclaim with the Academy Award-winning script for 'Citizen Kane' (1941), co-written with the film's director, Orson Welles (Tom Burke).
- Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Tom Pelphrey, Arliss Howard, Tuppence Middleton, Monika Gossmann, Joseph Cross, Sam Troughton, Toby Leonard Moore, Tom Burke, Charles Dance, Ferdinand Kingsley, Jamie McShane, Jack Romano, Adam Shapiro, John Churchill, Jeff Harms, Derek Petropolis, Sean Persaud
- David Fincher
2021 BAFTA Best Production Design
2021 Oscar Best Cinematography
2021 Oscar Best Production Design
- Release Date:
- Not released
- Run Time:
- 131 minutes
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- Mank review by GI
A return of director David Fincher after six years and clearly a passion piece for him not least as the screenplay is written by his father. This is a film celebrating the Golden Age of Hollywood whilst also revealing it's sordid corruptions at the same time. Gary Oldman, in what is surely to be an award contending performance , is genius screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, who in 1942 is hired by Orson Welles (Tom Burke in a spot on cameo) to write a new screenplay that will revolutionise film making. The trouble is Mank is a serious alcoholic and recently broken a leg in a car accident. So he's installed in a remote ranch house in the desert to complete the script for the film eventually to become Citizen Kane, banned from drinking by Welles, he manages to get it smuggled in all the same. The film charts not only Mank's battles with Welles and the booze but also in flashbacks looks at his relationship with movie mogul Louis B. Mayer (Arliss Howard) and the money behind him, media giant William Hearst (Charles Dance) on whom Mank based his screenplay. Shot in nostalgic soft toned black and white and following the style of Citizen Kane itself it's certainly a beautiful film to look at and the performances are all exceptional especially Dance, as the sinister Hearst, and Tuppence Middleton as Mank's long suffering wife, Sara. As a film about Hollywood it's very interesting but you really have to have some idea about the tortured journey of Citizen Kane to the screen and about the various characters the film includes, like Irving Thalberg (Ferdinand Kingsley) for example. At times I felt the film dragging occasionally but overall this is clever, interesting and very well made but perhaps not for everyone.
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