Mank [2020] ★★★½

I haven’t seen many great films this year, but “Mank” is certainly one of them. For one, it paints an evocative picture of old Hollywood, circa 1940, a time where Orson Welles was preparing for his next feature: “Citizen Kane”. For that, he’s going to hire an unlikely candidate to write the script: screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz aka “Mank”, a man with demons of his own. In true Citizen Kane fashion, the film takes us back and forth in time to understand how the story of Charles Foster Kane came to be. It’s fascinating, to say the least, and you couldn’t ask for a better cast to bring it to life. Gary Oldman gives yet another Oscar-worthy performance as Mank himself, and he’s surrounded by a first rate cast that includes Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Charles Dance and Tom Burke as Orson Welles. David Fincher directs with an incredible eye for detail; you can basically smell the air of old Hollywood, which makes it so easy to get lost in its irresistible charm. You can credit cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt for his gorgeous black & white shots, but all of this wouldn’t mean a thing without a great story, and “Mank” has it all. It encapsulates everything we go to the movies for, making it a perfect candidate for award season. How can Oscar resist?

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