Mank ★★½

You cannot capture a man's entire life in two hours. All you can hope is to leave the impression of one.

Look, I know opinions on film are completely subjective, and that's exactly how it should be, I'll be one of the most staunch defenders of that you'll come across. That said, if you think Mank is even remotely at the quality or better than Citizen Kane, may I ever so kindly ask you to reconsider. This is a movie that I really wanted to like because the concept and the backstory are really intriguing. David Fincher adapting a screenplay by his late father is super sweet, and a film not only about a screenwriter but the one who wrote what's called the best film of all-time sounds like it could be pretty cool. It was not. It really was not. About halfway in, I sort of mentally checked out, and it was more about just getting to the conclusion. The sound design is kind of cool, the black and white as well, despite the camerawork being very flat. (The score from Reznor and Ross was pretty good at some points as well, I suppose.) For being a film that is reliant on its screenwriter protagonist and his times both with writing Kane and earlier in his career, the dialogue was weak. It's constant, rarely a silent moment, but it all felt so fake. There's film dialogue that feels written but remains compelling, and then there's this, where I continued to remain unconvinced that I was watching the trials and tribulations of real people. This is what I see folks accuse Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to be: A passion project "love letter" to a bygone time of Hollywood that thinks it's a lot more important and significant than it really is. The film later into its runtime features a scene that showcases the end product well. Our lead talks, and he talks, then he talks some more, Oldman doing a piss-poor job of acting drunk. When he's finally done talking, all he has to show for it is bending over and vomiting on the floor. Looked for the golden goose, found a goose egg.


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