Mank is to be sacked at the Oscars (But Netflix still has a chance)

Netflix Mank set David Fincher to win Best Picture at the 2021 Oscars, but maybe he should bet on another horse.

For the past few years, Netflix has been using the same strategy over and over again in an attempt to win an Oscar for Best Picture: hire an experienced and respected auteur, give it a go (because so far he has been a man) the money and the total creative freedom he needs to make the pet project that he would not get green elsewhere, and then campaign hard. Two of those films, Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, receiving mostly positive reviews and 10 Academy Award winners each (Roma he won three times The Irishman was excluded), but none of them were able to take home the top prize. Netflix – a company that follows the line between what used to be a separate TV and movie space, and now takes control of both – is clearly considering the Biggest Picture. Better as the last hurdle to artistic legitimacy. He will try his strategy again this season with David Fincher’s Mank – an even more special film made to please the Academybut the results are likely to be the same.

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Like Roma and The Irishman before, Mank a very personal film. Fincher’s father, the late Jack, wrote. The titular character, Herman Mankiewicz, seems to be both an image of interest for the director and a vehicle for working out his own controversial thoughts about the Hollywood studio system and its place. there. That is to say, there is a lot of Fincher Mank … the film and the character.

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For those who like Mank, this is a strength. It delivers the film series of depth and meaningful forms that are not always present in Netflix’s more commercial offerings. But it is also a weakness. While it may seem like a sure thing to let some of the most talented leaders in the world do whatever they want, whatever they want it to be more challenging, and often further afield, than their other work. Critics have largely appreciated it but have not fallen in love with these films, and they have been a hard sell to a general audience.

Mank tells the story of Herman Mankiewicz ‘s role in screenwriting for Kane Citizen, and the impact of his relationships with media bigwigs on his process. It’s true that Hollywood loves a movie about itself. There are more films about filmmaking than could reasonably be listed here, many of which have won or come close to Oscars (The Artist, Argo and La La Land, to name a few recent examples. However, that is the first hurdle in it Mankthe way to Oscar. Fincher made a love letter to Kane Citizen – and a controversial one at that – not a love letter to Hollywood.

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Just like authority Kane Citizen breakdown is a bit fuzzy. Mankiewicz and Orson Welles shared credits and an Oscar for best screenshot. But for the most part the industry has been canonizing Welles, and backed by the premise that Mankiewicz does not deserve the majority of credit for the Kane Citizen screen shot. Jack Fincher ‘s original script drew heavily from Pauline Kael’ s controversial essay, “Raising Kane,” in which she argues that Mankiewicz is the main voice behind the script. Fincher takes great creative freedom with his version of Mankiewicz, both in terms of his acquaintance with the likes of William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies, and in how he was influenced by his personal politics. Citizen Kane’s topics. Mank also very hard on the Hollywood machine, going so far as to show how studios overwhelmed workers and helped socialist movements during the Depression. Other films about films tend to be more respectful or, at worst, automatic.

For anyone who is not a film historian, Mank they can be alien. It is a pretentious black – and – white film made by a powerful studio system men about a pretentious black – and – white film made by a powerful studio system men, and in that way, it stares into the Hollywood navel even more than the now-thought-out ones The Artist. Even if, in content, Mank it is admirably more critical and critical of what it sees, in terms of beauty, it relies on signs of the good consumption of “art” more than new ideas. In addition to the fact that it is shot in black and white, there is the use of flashback, clever title cards, copycat camera angles, fake cigarette shooting in the corner of the “movie” (which both refer to old movies and on Fincher’s Fighting club). Certainly these touches will please some listeners, but energetic obedience is not a masterpiece.

Judging from the Netflix metrics themselves, Mank this did not have a significant effect on the subscribers. It only lasted a day in Netflix ‘s top ten, where it hit its tenth Saturday after its release. Movies don’t have to be popular with the big ones to deserve high praise, but so fast Mank has come and gone at a time when entertainment options are scarce that doesn’t come in handy. He definitely gets nominations for his actors (Amanda Seyfried as Davies has a good chance of winning), screenshots, cinematography and scoring, and maybe for director and photo as well. But Mank it’s too insidery and too imperfect to be like the one that gets Netflix the gold.

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That doesn’t mean Netflix still doesn’t have horses in the race. Maybe they are set Mank for the win, but it is not too late for the climber to place a bet on another competitor. As in previous years, Netflix has given Fincher the same kind of art license to filmmakers like Spike Lee, Ron Howard, Aaron Sorkin and Denzel Washington. Howard was not reviewed Hillbilly dies has fallen too far late, although it could still put out some acting nominations. Sorkin’s The Chicago 7 Test it’s firm but perhaps too traditional to move on. Lee’s Da 5 fuil as easy as ambition Mank, and like Fincher, Lee never won Best Picture. But the film suffers because it was among its earliest releases – although Netflix could make it relevant again if the climber chooses to put energy behind it.

As a result, it is probably Netflix’s favorite bet Ma Rainey black bottom. The excitement surrounding Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman ‘s main shows is so loud and enthusiastic, it may have already drowned out the competition. The Academy loves a soundtrack, too, even more than a movie about movies. Ten have gone on to win the top prize. Adapted from the celebrated play August Wilson, Ma Rainey black bottom has received rave reviews and touches on current social issues – gender, race, class – with conviction. All of this could turn the film into a sentimental choice, making it the potential contestant to deliver Netflix the reward it has been seeking.

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