LOS ANGELES: “Mank” tells the story of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he writes and then fights over what is regarded as the greatest film in Hollywood history: “Citizen Kane.”
And with a cast full of A-list talent, a film about an Oscar-winner could prove to be enough to win an Oscar.
Arab News spoke to stars Gary Oldman and Lily Collins about the film which hits Netflix on Dec. 4.
“I don’t resemble Mank and I think that was a conscious thing with (director) David (Fincher). He didn’t necessarily cast look-alikes in that respect,” Oldman said.
Of course, “Mank” refers to Herman J. Mankiewicz, who is credited, at the end of “Citizen Kane,” as the co-author of the screenplay alongside Orson Welles.
This marks Fincher’s return to filmmaking for the first time since 2014’s “Gone Girl.” Penned by his late father, Jack Fincher, historical drama “Mank” is a tonal deviation from the thrillers Fincher is famous for including “Fight Club,” “Zodiac,” and “Panic Room.” However, his iconic, stylish design is still on display in the new film.
“He knows what he wants. He has a clear vision,” said Collins, who plays the film’s stenographer Rita Alexander. “He knows how to articulate it, how to curate it, how to get it. And he makes you feel as an actor that you’re in a safe environment. You’re gonna be nurtured through it but you’re gonna be challenged the best way.”
“Mank” is both an engaging character study and a critical look back at the Golden Age of Hollywood as it jumps back and forth through Mankiewicz’s life before and after he started on “Citizen Kane.”
Similar to “Citizen Kane,” the new biopic is portrayed in old-fashioned, black-and-white cinematography and unfurls much of its narrative via flashback.
Oldman said: “You’re playing a writer. It’s not like you’re playing an aviator. You’re someone sitting there who’s actually writing which cinematically maybe isn’t the most exciting thing to watch and not only that you’re a writer lying down. So, it had its challenges.”