Scorcaesar’s review published on Letterboxd:
While far from Finchers best "picture", Mank is a very intrecately put together mirror on Herman Mankiewicz life as a screenwriter in old Hollywood. I'm yet again blown away by Reznor and Ross's ability to match every genre with their musical prowess and the late Jack Fincher's script brings some of the best dialouge of the year. Gary Oldman is, as ever, a chameleon and completely dissaperates into the role of Mank when the story takes us through the turbulent process of writing one of the most iconic films of all time. Full of interesting faces; along with Lilly Collins as his assistant, Charles Dance as the crooked William Hearst, Amanda Seyfried as an approaching actress and a rocky road of flashbacks that remembers parts of Mankiewicz career and how he got to the point of present.
The films biggest drawback for me is its lenght, or lack thereof. As they proclaim in the film:
The same can be said about this film, even if it simultaneously perhaps is its point. While the focus lies with the writing of Citizen Kane, it also attempts to peice together an important period in Mankiewicz life leading up to it, which I whish there were more of. The relationship between the characters and the wonderful script they had at their disposal offered so much potential. While I say all this, the film still managed to loose me at points where I desperately didn't want to be lost. It feels long, too long, yet left me wanting more, in a way. The film also seems to be based on the supposed lie that Welles didn't write Citizen Kane himself, which is a subject I know far too little about to voice an opinion on, but I thought it worth mentioning.
Two hours is way too little to tell an entire life, it'll simply be a snapshot.
Still, Mank is a solid effort from Fincher and something I think was very challenging for him as a director. This story and character is not easy money and while this could be percieved as Oscar bait, as it is a film about film starring acclaimed Oscar winner Gary Oldman, it climbs a step above such entires as Spielberg's 'The Post'. I reccomend giving it a watch, warts and all - it is a treat for the eyes.