TerrC’s review published on Letterboxd:
Hi, I'm writing this in October before the film comes out:
I'd just like to remind people that apparently this film is very inspired by Pauline Kael's essay "Raising Kane" which suggested Mankiewicz, not Orson Welles was the true author of Citizen Kane. This essay has been debunked by critics, scholars and Welles himself, who stated on many occasions what his contributions to the screenplay were and what were Mankiewicz's.
The fact a Hollywood film is potentially trying to portray Welles as a villain is disgusting given the way he was ostracised by the very community who now praises Kane. Hopefully, this is all just hearsay and the film is a fair account of the production of Kane. I shall report back in December with my thoughts on the film.
UPDATE: I have seen MANK. It's a somewhat mixed bag. Some very well written scenes, but overall it feels more like a history lecture than a story.
Great score and sound, but the digital photography fails to match the 1930's motion picture aesthetic the rest of the film is going for. Amanda Seyfried and Charles Dance are fantastic and most definitely should be nominated. I do appreciate its subtle damnation of the so-called "Golden Age" of Hollywood instead of being a "love letter" to this era like so many films of its kind are, what I don't appreciate, however, is the portrayal of Welles.
They wait till the very end of the film to really portray Welles as a snake and I really don't think it was necessary. Tom Burke (who was fantastic in The Souvenir) is particularly poor in this last scene. I have no issue with not giving Welles focus throughout the story but don't lop him in with Hearst and Mayer as one of the antagonists of Mankiewicz's struggles.