'Mank': Sink or Stream?

Time to decide if "Mank's" the type of film Hollywood would buy and just put on the shelf, or one to release for all to see.

By Jesse Conner

Gary Oldman in poster art for "Mank."

© Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Mank

Drama / 2020 / R

1930s Hollywood is reevaluated through the eyes of scathing wit and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish "Citizen Kane."

When producing any film in Hollywood, there's a certain chain of command that a film typically goes through to make sure that by the time it's ready for the big screen, all parties involved have resolved their creative differences.

This week, we're making our own resolution about Netflix's new and highly anticipated release "Mank," a movie about how the revered "Citizen Kane" was created.

The film about the making of a film follows from idea to paper to screen, and reveals the reason why "Kane" was written in the first place.

So, is this cinematic history lesson one that we should sleep through...or is it something to take note of?

Reasons to Sink

© Netflix

  • Because there are multiple stories layered into the film, sometimes it can be hard to remember specific events that occur between characters, and their various timelines.
  • On the political front, it's a bit tricky to decipher the message as there are moving parts that could be articulated more clearly.
  • It requires a high level of attention because of all the crucial elements.

Reasons to Stream

© Netflix

  • Gary Oldman is magnificent at bringing his character to life, conveying a witty, unapologetic tone in every scene that he steals.
  • The film provides audiences a deep dive behind the scenes of Hollywood and the hurdles that existed when "Citizen Kane" was made.
  • The cinematography is amazing, using the black and white aesthetic and fade transitions to really take you back to this particular time.
  • There are essentially two stories in the film, one about how Herman J. Mankiewicz (Mank) wrote the script for "Citizen Kane" and another about the inspiration behind "Kane," and they exist simultaneously in a captivating way.

Sink or Stream?

After watching "Mank," there is no doubt, this is a film you should stream as soon as possible!

Even after all these years of Gary Oldman's already fruitful career, he's able to create a raw, vivacious character that could very well earn him an Oscar for Best Actor.

All the supporting actors and actresses (including Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, and Charles Dance) bring their A-game as well, and the direction by the masterful David Fincher is phenomenal.

The untold story behind what led to the creation of "Citizen Kane" is a tale that needed to be told, and we can't imagine a better way of seeing it than this handsome production.

Stream now on Netflix.

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