As the award season ramps up so does my determination to watch as many of these Oscar buzz films as possible. So far I’ve seen Da 5 Bloods, One Night in Miami, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and The Trial of the Chicago 7 but now I’ve added Mank to that list.
Mank follows the true story of Herman Mankiewicz, the man who wrote one of the greatest cinematic works of all time, Citizen Kane. The drunken screenwriter genius decided to take William Hearst’s life story and fabricate into the plot that is Citizen Kane and ultimately, it was an interesting story of the creation of a famous movie.
The film has been nominated for six Golden Globes and I’d say deservedly so. David Fincher, known for directing hits like Se7en and The Social Network, placed his notable stamp on this film with a keen eye for detail and storytelling against the black-and-white cinematography. Gary Oldman nabs only his second Golden Globe for this movie as he distinctly portrays Mank in a way that made me not see him simply as an overweight Commissioner Gordon.
And while this movie was interesting enough that it made me want to learn more about Upton Sinclair and eventually finish Citizen Kane I’m sorry to say the film was actually pretty boring.
Written with a cliche sense of wit that’s designed for these types of movies, Mank drags on the nerves as it flashes back and forth through time, whiplashing the viewer through the story in, I guess, an effort to keep one from falling asleep. It’s an annoying ploy that almost didn’t pay off, as I found myself on the verge of sleep a couple of times. Plus, there were a lot of times when I didn’t know who was talking about who.
To be able to enjoy this movie you have to be very learned up about classic Hollywood and the big producers of the 1930s’ because a casual Millennial is going to stare at this movie with a slack jaw and eyes glazed over black-and-white.
All in all, Mank is another film that will fade from memory and join the collective pool of boring movies that unsurprisingly was nominated for a bunch of awards.
I’m giving Mank 87 out of 100 and 4 out of 5 stars.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day.