Mank | David Fincher & Gary Oldman

‘Mank’ First Reactions: David Fincher’s Return Is ‘Brilliant,’ ‘Dense,’ and ‘an Oscars Heavyweight’


I will say those claiming it may be too inside baseball for those who aren’t very familiar with classic Hollywood....I suppose I can see that being a problem. I live in a very TCM bubble, so I didn’t even think about that as a potential problem for some viewers, but it makes sense. If you aren’t a fan of Classic Hollywood, Kane and/or Welles...you probably won’t get much out of this.
 
‘Mank’ First Reactions: David Fincher’s Return Is ‘Brilliant,’ ‘Dense,’ and ‘an Oscars Heavyweight’


I will say those claiming it may be too inside baseball for those who aren’t very familiar with classic Hollywood....I suppose I can see that being a problem. I live in a very TCM bubble, so I didn’t even think about that as a potential problem for some viewers, but it makes sense. If you aren’t a fan of Classic Hollywood, Kane and/or Welles...you probably won’t get much out of this.

I even loved the HBO movie they made of this in the late 90s, so this is right up my alley.

 
I'm happy that Amanda Seyfried is getting a lot of great call outs for her performance in this. I love her.
 
It's a great film but it's very cold. There's little "life" to it, if that makes sense. But Fincher's in top form, and this is my second favorite performance from Gary Oldman.
 
It's a great film but it's very cold. There's little "life" to it, if that makes sense. But Fincher's in top form, and this is my second favorite performance from Gary Oldman.

Our of curiosity, what’s your top Oldman performance?
 
The style was great, but I didn’t connect to this movie at all.
 
I didn't really connect with the story. There wasn't enough character development for me as a casual viewer. It felt the movie assumes you're supposed to be familiar with all these characters and their relationships. And be a massive fan of Citizen Kane, because it draws parallels. Maybe so and it was my ignorance that prevented me from enjoying it properly. But it's stylish and atmospheric.

I also kept thinking how every take was done 100 times.
 
I really didn’t expect Welles to be as much of an afterthought in the film as he ended up being, but considering Mank’s acceptance speech, maybe that’s appropriate.
 
I didn't really connect with the story. There wasn't enough character development for me as a casual viewer. It felt the movie assumes you're supposed to be familiar with all these characters and their relationships. And be a massive fan of Citizen Kane, because it draws parallels. Maybe so and it was my ignorance that prevented me from enjoying it properly. But it's stylish and atmospheric.

I also kept thinking how every take was done 100 times.

Would you suggest watching Citizen Kane before this movie to understand the parallels?
 
As a non-US who is not fimilair with hollywood history that was hard to follow. So many (at least for me) random characters. I cant remember a single figure name except Mank.
 
What a great movie.

In true Fincher fashion it's a bit more of a cerebral and stylistic exercise than it is a dramatic one and if you're not familiar with Citizen Kane than you won't have seen the actual visual culmination of so much that is happening in this movie thematically, but this movie is firing on so many different cylinders, it never felt like an incomplete experience to me. The writing and performances were incisive but entertaining, and it was also just a joy of a movie to look at and listen to. I luxuriated in this flick.

And I get why some feel it is cold or hard to connect to, but the emotional component is there. The many little moments where we see cracks in Mank's jester persona, the stuff with Sara or Lily Collins' character, that moment near the end with Joe, the stuff with Shelly... actually, I felt the movie had a great human warmth inside of it, just the expression is restrained and the movie is paced not to dwell too long on those moments. Because it's not really a sentimental story. It's a sad story about the machinations and degradations of power, but you're still watching the organ grinder's monkey.

I am guessing that the Orson zealots are upset by the $10,000 offer but it is such a sort of momentary aside in the movie that honestly could have been just something from Mank's perspective, as there are definitely moments where the film leans into his subjectivity (such as the brilliant election night montage). The film reinforces that Welles must have done an extreme amount of revising and shaping of the script and doesn't preclude whatsoever what Orson brought to the story or how it was told (though it does show how Mank felt about it). I can understand if people think the film does not give Welles enough credit but the movie is not about Orson Welles and it seems like some people went into it expecting it to be, at least indirectly. And it's not. It's about Mank and the things that were happening around him that went into the genesis of a creative idea, a dream, that was threatening to the very power structures behind the dream factories.

Anyways, yeah, wow. Definitely towards the top of the year and absolutely a top 3 Fincher for me along with Zodiac and Se7en.
 
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I didn't care for this. It wasn't bad by any means, but the only character I was really interested in was Marion. It had a few good seasons but it was mostly washed out and dull.
 
This was beautiful. Really love the commentary or well mirroring of our current state of politics, lobbying, bribery... that is America.

—+—
Zodiac

—A—
The Social Network
> Mank
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Gone Girl
The Game

—B—
Gone Girl
Seven
Fight Club

—C—
Alien 3

—D—
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
 
Shall we do a rank Fincher thread?

Yes, we shall.
 
Do I have to watch Citizen Kane to appreciate this more?
 

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