Very few big-budget movies have been released in cinemas this year and you could argue that the quality of films released in 2020 has been lacking. Think again.
Already we have seen the likes of horror movie Relic, the heart-breaking Babyteeth, and Netflix's Da 5 Bloods. Due later this year in the US are festival highlights Ammonite, Nomadland, and One Night in Miami (not to mention that, in the UK, 2020 has also included Parasite, Uncut Gems, and The Lighthouse). Potentially the biggest highlight of the year comes in December: David Fincher's Mank arrives on Netflix, and the first reactions have this in line to be an Oscar frontrunner.
"Mank is incredible on so many levels it’s overwhelming," Rian Johnson, director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Knives Out, wrote on Twitter. "I loved it, but more importantly there has never been a movie title this satisfying to say out loud. Mank. Mank mank mank. Do a newsies voice & shout it across the room & it’s the mouth version of cracking your back. A gift." Total Film's very own Jane Crowther described the movie as "magnificent". See more reactions below.
Mank is incredible on so many levels it’s overwhelming, I loved it, but more importantly there has never been a movie title this satisfying to say out loud. Mank. Mank mank mank. Do a newsies voice & shout it across the room & it’s the mouth version of cracking your back. A gift.October 30, 2020
David Fincher’s #Mank is magnificent. Awards incoming.October 30, 2020
MANK is magnificent (manknificent?). Snappy, gorgeous, funny, and unapologetically political. Looks and sounds like an old movie in an old movie house, with audio that seems to echo off walls that aren’t actually there. #Mank @MankFilm pic.twitter.com/pu1QiDzA5tOctober 30, 2020
MANK's top tier. The script is an absolute feast. And these two are wonderful pic.twitter.com/1rAlgQl09aOctober 31, 2020
I love that David Fincher’s dad gets sole screenwriting credit on MANK (a good movie about how hard it is for movies to be good)October 30, 2020
David Fincher’s #Mank is one helluva production. A smart, riveting trip to a bygone era. An exploration of 30s Hollywood, politics & ideals. Gary Oldman is perfect, Tom Pelphrey is impressive & Amanda Seyfried is wonderful. Photography is gorgeous, score magical. A love letter. pic.twitter.com/yRcQUKBVLlOctober 30, 2020
#MANK is beautifully shot. Erik Messerschmidt's cinematography is exquisitely lush and Trish Summerville's costumes are fantastic. This is a craft-feast, and that score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is glorious. #MANK is exquisitely crafted and a visual delight. #OSCARS pic.twitter.com/h0FQOdFyydOctober 30, 2020
#Mank is a remarkable sight to behold w/ each shot so meticulously well crafted you’ll want to pause the film often just to stare at this thing. A frenetic & authentic throwback that classic film buffs will adore. Are you a lover of provocative Hollywood stories? This is for you pic.twitter.com/39N7fLOOv5October 30, 2020
In #MANK, Fincher uses cue marks and other various tools from the time period captured to make the filmed experience feel immersive. The soundtrack warbles at one point during a “reel change.” (I’d like to point out MIke Flanagan did this too in OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL.)October 30, 2020
In Mank, Gary Oldman stars as notorious troubled screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the Citizen Kane screenplay for Orson Welles. The authorship of this script has been a longstanding controversy, with Welles giving himself a writing credit despite claims he didn’t contribute anything. Others argue that he did help author the screenplay.
The script for the movie was written in the 1990s by Jack Fincher, David Fincher’s father. Fincher Sr. died in 2003 before the project ever came to fruition, but Netflix greenlit the movie in early 2019. This is Fincher Jr.’s first feature since Gone Girl in 2014. In the meantime, he’s been producing prestige TV shows like House of Cards and Mindhunter.
The cast of Mank also includes Amanda Seyfried as Hollywood star Marion Davies and Charles Dance as her lover and newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst (who the titular Kane was partly based on). Lily Collins plays Mankiewicz's secretary Rita Alexander, while Tom Burke is director Orson Welles.
Mank reaches Netflix on December 4 2020. While we wait, make sure to check out the best Netflix movies available now.