The Oscar nominations are in! Despite the pandemic, good movies still found a way onto the big screen or a major streaming platform. Now, the Academy has finally released its picks for the best of the best after a tough year in lockdown.
On March 15, 2021, the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences announced its picks for the awards ceremony on April 25, 2021. There are plenty of familiar choices, from Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland to Golden Globe winner Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The Oscars often echo the Golden Globes, but there are new nominees and one film that stands out amongst the rest.
Leading the pack with 10 nominations is Mank from director David Fincher. Some of the categories include; Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. These are some of the biggest categories to be nominated in. Often, movies that lead the awards with nominations get most of the wins.
With that in mind, it would be good to take a look at this movie. Who stars in it? What is it about?
The Main Story
Mank follows screenwriter Herman J Mankiewicz and his process for writing and developing the screenplay for Citizen Kane. In 1940, Orson Welles was given full creative freedom for his next film. To assist in the process, Welles recruits Mankiewicz to help.
Throughout the production of the iconic script, Mankiewicz makes comparisons between the character Kane and William Randolph Hearst, a newspaper mogul in New York City. Despite pressure from the studios and a battle with alcohol, Mankiewicz finishes the script in good time. Though Welles wants a rewrite, in the end, Mankiewicz earns dual credit and wins Best Original Screenplay with Welles at the Academy Awards two years later.
Just as in Citizen Kane, Mank is nonlinear and jumps between the 1930s and 1940. It is also filmed in black and white to capture the same aesthetic as the original film.
Gary Oldman plays lead screenwriter Herman J Mankiewicz.
Amanda Seyfried as actress Marion Davies.
Lily Collins as Rita Alexander, Herman’s secretary.
Charles Dance plays newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst.
Tom Burke as the iconic Orson Welles.
Mank’s director David Fincher based the film on a screenplay from his late father Jack Fincher. He had originally written the script in the 90s with Kevin Spacey and Jodie Foster as the lead roles. However, it was never picked up, and Jack Fincher passed away in 2003.
In 2019, Jack’s son David was able to get the project produced for theatrical release in November 2020. By December 2020, the film became available on Netflix to stream.
The film received positive reviews from critics who cited excellent acting, directing, and cinematography. The proof is even more evident with the fact that it leads the Oscar nominations in 10 categories.
In full, the categories are Best Picture, Best Director (David Fincher), Best Actor (Gary Oldman), Best Supporting Actress (Amanda Seyfried), Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
The 93rd Academy Awards will premiere on April 25, 2021. Until then, Mank will have to wait and see how many of the 10 it gets.