MANK (2020) First reviews of David Fincher’s biopic with Gary Oldman

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Mank is a 2020 American biographical drama feature film about legendary screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz’s turbulent life in Hollywood. The plot focused on the development of Orson Welles’ iconic masterpiece Citizen Kane (1941).

Directed by David Fincher (Gone Girl; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; Zodiac; Panic Room; Fight Club; Se7en; Alien³) from a screenplay written by his late father Jack Fincher (who died in 2003), the Netflix production stars Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins and Arliss Howard. Produced by Ceán Chaffin, David Fincher, Eric Roth and Douglas Urbanski.


Mank will be released in theatrically in select locations in November, then will stream on Netflix on December 4th 2020.


“It’s more than simply shooting in black-and-white. It’s angles and glow, it’s the sound, the hum of tape, the artificiality of sets and the dusty realism of locations. It’s as layered and nuanced as Fincher’s recreation of the culture and power structures within which Kane was made, and through which Mank labors, the embittered, drunken, self-loathing idealist who manages to get a few bites in before his masters yank his chain.” Austin Chronicle

Mank is a rich and sumptuous portrayal of the golden age of Hollywood, it may not be the Fincher film you expected but it has his typical superb quality, it’s enchanting, textured and artful. It’s fast-talking, witty and charming but there’s something missing to push it to perfection, it doesn’t have more of an intensity or vibrant energy to it, it feels much more relaxed for the most part.” Film Carnage

” …the screenplay, by Fincher’s late father, Jack, is full of zingers but relies on rooms full of heavyweight egos stagily taking turns to deliver them. It won’t be for everyone. But in the canon of films about film-making, there are few as textured, as committed and as suffused with real appreciation for the craft as Mank […] Amanda Seyfried is legitimately superb as Marion Davies…” The Guardian

” …when the movie swings, it brings you with it. A walk and talk between Herman and Hearst at their introduction to each other happens while Hearst is traveling on a gigantic camera dolly, overseeing a Davies picture. The staging, shooting and editing here represent Fincher at his most inspired, creating an undercurrent of exhilaration even as we are aware that we’re witnessing crummy people doing crummy things.”

“Shot in black and white, and with cigarette burns, Mank is closer to pastiche than anything Fincher’s done since his music video days. It looks glorious, but should it? MGM might as well be a tyre factory, and Mank hardly seems swept up by its glamour. Again, in our Kaufman scenario, by posing as a ‘mere stylist’, Fincher serves a script that asserts the idea of the screenwriter’s primacy.” Sight & Sound

Cast and characters:

Gary Oldman … Herman Mankiewicz
Amanda Seyfried … Marion Davies
Lily Collins … Rita Alexander
Arliss Howard … Louis B. Mayer
Tom Pelphrey … Joseph Mankiewicz
Sam Troughton … John Houseman
Tuppence Middleton … Sara Mankiewicz
Tom Burke … Orson Welles
Charles Dance … William Randolph Hearst
Leven Rambin … Eve
Jamie McShane … Shelly Metcalf
Toby Leonard Moore … David O. Selznick
Joseph Cross … Charles Lederer
Natalie Denise Sperl … Greta Garbo

Technical details:

131 minutes
Black and white
Aspect ratio: 2.20: 1
Audio: Mono

YouTube reviews:

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