Thursday, December 31, 2020

Mank - 4 Stars - NETFLIX -November, 2020

 David Fincher pays tribute to the golden age of Hollywood in this tribute to troubled genius Herman Mankiewicz, profiling him in the California desert working on the script of Citizen Kane.  The film pokes at the conflict between art and commerce, creativity and the corporate world, a conflict that remains to this day.  Mank shows an artist dismissive of the movies who realizes he's created something worth claiming.  Film buffs know Mankiewicz won arbitration in the screen writers' guild to share credit for the only Oscar Citizen Kane won with Orson Wells.  Flashbacks explain Mankiewicz' broken friendship with William Randolph Hearst, the thinly veiled subject of Citizen Kane, and Hearst's mistress Marion Davies.  Amanda Seyfried as Davies gives this story heart.  Mank takes great liberties in the name of creative non-fiction.  Fact checkers may have a field day, some even say Mankiewicz never met Marion Davies and barely knew Hearst.  So what, I love old Hollywood and I loved this story.  I recommend you follow Mank with a chaser of the classic Citizen Kane.  I did for one of my favorites movie nights this year.