Benjamin Green’s review published on Letterboxd:
First time watch: June 2022
Mank is the 2020 biographical drama directed by David Fincher. Based on the screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz during the development of Citizen Kane the film stars Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins and Tom Burke.
Not the film that Fincher fans necessarily expected, 1992s Alien3 and 2020s Mank currently bookends a fascinating journey for a filmmaker with incredible talent and enjoying a level of creative freedom Orson Welles was once offered in 1940 when working for RKO.
The subject matter of Mank may focus on screenwriter Mankiewicz but the overall setting benefits from its insight into Hollywood during the 1930s. Exploring politics, the developing war, celebrity status and the forced studio transformation in dealing with the rise of talkies I often found myself drawn to the compelling era as opposed to the biographical element.
It goes without saying that Mank is a beautiful film with its black and white cinematography as sharp as its writing. The intelligent dialogue sings and is aptly spewed by Gary Oldman who provides a captivating display (even if slightly distracting when thinking back to his drunken role in Friends). There were some flat moments and the pacing struggled at times but Fincher has delivered once again.
David Fincher Filmography List
2020 - 2029 Films List
Biopic Films List
Gary Oldman Filmography List