We’re still over a month away from the Netflix launch of David Fincher‘s Mank, but critics who’ve seen the auteur’s new black-and-white Hollywood drama are now weighing in. The folks who were able to watch Mank in advance of its December 4th Netflix release took to social media on Thursday to react. In doing so, we can now get a better feel of Mank‘s awards season chances and a clearer picture of how Fincher’s big creative swings shape up.
Working from a script written by his father, the late Jack Fincher, the younger Fincher’s Mank brings 1930s and ’40s Hollywood to life. More specifically, Mank tells the story of how screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) came to write the screenplay for Citizen Kane as he battled with his own personal demons. The film tracks Mank’s struggle with alcoholism, his wandering eye toward actress Marion Davies (Amanda Seyfried) while still very much a married man (to Tuppence Middleton‘s Sara Mankiewicz, no less), and his conflicted ties to newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst (Charles Dance), whose image is somewhat reshaped for Citizen Kane.
So, what exactly are folks saying about Mank? They’re pretty darn positive! There’s a lot of praise for the film’s technical prowess, including Erik Messerschmidt‘s cinematography and the film’s unique mono sound design. And there’s a lot of love for the film (including from Collider’s own Steve Weintraub) and how Fincher tackles old Hollywood. Although some reactions appear to hint towards a certain type of person who will spark most strongly to Mank. I’m not entirely sure this is a “cinephiles only” kind of movie, but I also wouldn’t expect Fincher to gloss over any of the finer details in the telling of a 30s Hollywood story, so it’s likely a plus if you go in with a basic curiosity for that type of thing. Personally this film sounds right up my alley, and I couldn’t be more excited to see it. And all seem to acknowledge it’s going to be a pretty big Oscar player that could potentially net Fincher his first-ever Best Director Oscar win and Seyfried her first Oscar win (she’s apparently a standout and a shoo-in for a Supporting Actress nod).
Just how big of a player it’ll be in the overall race remains to be seen, especially in such an odd year, but it’s a safe bet to pencil it in for multiple categories. Stay tuned!
For now, check out the full early Mank reactions below.
Mank debuts on Netflix on December 4th and will be playing in select theaters in November. Check out the first reactions to David Fincher’s new movie below. For more, watch the most recent trailer for Mank.
David Fincher’s #Mank is phenomenal. Everything from the brilliant sound design to the amazing performances makes it one of the best films of 2020. Cinephiles are going to LOVE this movie. pic.twitter.com/WmmAvgIJGJ
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) October 30, 2020
My MANK feelings:
I found it beautiful and inspiring.
It’s about making the decision to turn away from everything you know, everything that sustains you, when you realize how wrong it is.
It’s one thing to burn it all down. Even harder when you’re standing in the center of it. pic.twitter.com/CtNwD0Ook4
— Anthony Breznican (@Breznican) October 30, 2020
MANK: Exceptional craftsmanship and a strong turn from Amanda Seyfried, but also an obsession with picking and choosing historical bits that will likely rankle the very cinephiles it was ostensibly made for, plus more Upton Sinclair chatter than anyone would ever, EVER need. 🎥🍸
— Kate Erbland (@katerbland) October 30, 2020
Now that the Mank embargo is over…you guys already knew this was made for me. And you too, if you’re into hardcore film history brought to life by a director and writer who both clearly loved digging into it. Not a sentimental movie about H’wood, but, in its way, a joyful one.
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) October 30, 2020
the thing about MANK is it’s less a movie about the making of Citizen Kane than it is about the circumstances that inspired the movie and those circumstances are watching capitalism corrupt in the midst of a depression
— Esther Zuckerman (@ezwrites) October 30, 2020
On paper, David Fincher’s MANK is a movie I *should* love, but instead just admire. Incredibly well crafted, shot, acted. But the story left me cold. I now know more about Mank’s feelings toward the 1934 California gubernatorial race than I do his feelings toward Orson Welles.
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) October 30, 2020
People always talk about Fincher’s technical genius but he also has a way with actors. MANK is Gary Oldman’s film but every role is perfectly cast and maybe Amanda Seyfried will get the attention she deserves. Tom Pelphrey and Lily Collins also make the most of their screen time. https://t.co/uoCbJaLvLw
— Jen-see-you-in-hell Riley (@jenelleriley) October 30, 2020
MANK is a peculiar labyrinth of a movie, a thrilling & unpredictable approach to deconstructing Hollywood history in its own language. No, you won’t get a definitive CITIZEN KANE backstory (& Orson emerges relatively unscathed); you’ll get a remarkable window into what it means.
— erickohn (@erickohn) October 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/h0FQOdFyyd
— Jazz Tangcay (@jazzt) October 30, 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)
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) October 30, 2020
MANK is romantic and cynical. It’s provocative and old fashioned. It’s what I expected and utterly surprising. It’s also gorgeous. And I need to see it again. All hail Fincher (father and son).
— Josh Horowitz (@joshuahorowitz) 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/pu1QiDzA5t
— Chris Evangelista 🎃 (@cevangelista413) October 30, 2020
A first look at Mank confirms that Gary Oldman and David Fincher are likely Oscar nomination bound, but the surprise is Amanda Seyfried would may just crash the Supporting Actress party. As for Best Picture? Nomination sure…https://t.co/5m79j48YCS
— Gregory Ellwood – The Playlist 🎬 (@TheGregoryE) October 30, 2020
#Mank is visually stunning with gorgeous cinematography & incorporation of various filmmaking techniques. Strong script anchored by Oldman’s splendid performance. However, this film will speak to a certain niche of movie audience. #FilmTwitter pic.twitter.com/8fsriVdL5u
— Rosa #LatinxLens (@rosasreviews) October 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/39N7fLOOv5
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) October 30, 2020
David Fincher is in fine form with #Mank. It’s dazzling & made for cinephiles. A sharp, smart critique of golden era Hollywood & evocative dreamlike homage to perfection. Seyfried is winning. Erik Messerschmidt’s cinematography, a lavish affair. Editor Kirk Baxter earns top marks pic.twitter.com/c6GsK2muN2
— Courtney Howard (@Lulamaybelle) October 30, 2020
This is the AP Film History course for cinephiles, likely to alienate some general audiences. Arliss Howard & Tom Pelphrey are standouts. pic.twitter.com/FQAQa66iA9
— Clayton Davis (@AwardsCircuit) October 30, 2020