Friday, April 23, 2021

MOVIE WEEKEND: MANK

Nomadland = beautiful

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom = lush

The United States vs. Billie Holiday dull

The Trial Of The Chicago 7 = exciting

Hillbilly Elegy = sad

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

My word for Mank is trying (2020; Rated R; I watched it on Netflix).

I eagerly anticipated the arrival of this movie. I expected it would be great. Then I found watching it was a trying experience. 

Mank has 10 Academy Award nominations (obviously some people liked it a whole lot more than I did): Best Picture; Best Actor (Gary Oldman); Best Director (David Fincher); Best Supporting Actress (Amanda Seyfried); and you can see the rest on IMDB or just Google it.

 Herman J. Mankiewicz (Oldman), a real person who was a successful screenwriter, has to finish a script for a little movie you might recall: Citizen Kane. His alcoholism tends to get in the way of his work. He also likes to apply his acerbic commentary to the folks in Hollywood. Oh, and he pals around some with Marion Davies (Seyfried, who's quite good). 

This movie doesn't work for me. If you watched it and loved it, then I'm happy for you. Please explain to me why I should watch it again and realize it's magnificent.

I suspect some bits of business (a liquor bottle falls from Mankiewicz's hand instead of a snow globe); the cinematography; the movie being in black-and-white; and of course, the make-up, hair styles, and costumes,  are meant to reflect Citizen Kane. But trying to be artsy doesn't make a movie a work of art. 


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug 

16 comments:

  1. I kept hearing Ben M. on TCM talking about this and it sounded good to me. I like behind the curtain inside the industry types of films whether it be the film industry or some other business. I'll probably not see it anytime soon since I no longer subscribe to any film things.

    But you are right about going for the "artsy look". It can be a kind of cheap gimmick. Or just plain not work.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. The one part of DirecTV that I miss is TCM and Ben. I love the classics.

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  2. Doesn't sound appealing to me, either. If it comes on streaming I might peek at it but it sounds like one I wouldn't last too long watching.

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    1. I started to watch it one day and was so bored I gave up. When it got so many nominations I forced myself to watch it to see what the hoopla was about. I think the academy likes it because they tend to like movies about their own industry.

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  3. Trying? I think I would have walked away.

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    1. I did the first time I tried to watch it. Then I watched all the way through to try to figure out why it has 10 nominations (I still don't know) and because I don't like to review a film without watching it from beginning to end. I was restless all the way through.

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  4. Hi Janie - it's a film I want to see ... but thanks for the warning ... Hilary

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    1. I post links to my blog posts on Facebook. Two of my nephews said they didn't like it either, but some people must like it. Maybe you'll be one and then you can tell us what you like.

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  5. We thought the same thing. It's pretty tough slogging at times. And if you don't know much about Hollywood of that period, it's even more so. Luckily, I do. But still, I wouldn't watch it twice.

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    1. I know who the characters are and why they're significant, but I could barely get all the way through it once.

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  6. I wonder if I will enjoy it because I know about old Hollywood and the story of Citizen Kane . It could be that it appeals to people who know the history but, otherwise, be boring to others. I will let you know.

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    1. I know quite a bit about classic movies and these people's stories, but I still found it tough to sit through. I'll love knowing what you think of it.

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  7. Hmmmm...this is a new one for me. Haven't even heard of it. I liked "Citizen Kane" when I saw it last, but it's been ages. I'm not sure I'd even catch whatever allusions this film might make to its predecessor.

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Got your panties in a bunch? Dig 'em out, get comfortable, and let's chat.