Will David Fincher’s “Mank” be swept away at the Oscars?


In the stratosphere of moviegoers, the anticipation of a new David Fincher film is palpable. Unveiled by Netflix in front of a crowd of film critics and journalists Thursday night, his 11th feature film “Mank” is both personal and technically competent. It’s been a decade since Fincher received a nomination for Best Director for “The Social Network,” a loss that still resonates with many award-goers today. With “Mank” he will most likely win another nomination in the category.On a visual level alone, “Mank”, which Netflix will release on its streaming platform on December 4th, is an impressive feat, likely to emulate past hits like “Gravity” by Alfonso Cuarón or “Mad Max: Fury Road” by George Miller – films that have risen in numbers with several statuettes in previous award years. As grand and awe-inspiring as the movie is, it may have some challenges on its way to the Dolby Theater. In a year that has seen the film industry (and theaters) put on hold, celebrating cinema is likely to be a priority for awards voters. That said, Herman J. Mankiewicz’s look at the history of development of Orson Welles’ iconic “Citizen Kane” plays out like an advanced film placement course, with perhaps a few Cliff Notes needed to understand the film. ‘history.

In all fairness, older voters will devour this take on classic Hollywood, admiring all of its beautiful sets, costumes, and cinematic structure. He’s likely to be a favorite in the acting branch, and could very well be a favorite at the SAG Awards for Best Cast Ensemble, many of his players could end up in the top five nominees in their respective categories. Gary Oldman, who won his Oscar in 2018 for “Darkest Hour,” is just as easy in his portrayal of Herman J. Mankiewicz as you would expect from an actor of his stature. In a year that promises to be very competitive, he could find his way to a nomination. But it’s also possible, as with Robert DeNiro in “The Irishman” last year, he could be snubbed in the best actor category.

Amanda Seyfried, an underrated actress in the drama space, has the kind of role that AMPAS voters have generally responded positively to. Playing classic star Marion Davies, associated with a seemingly slim supporting actress group so far, the “Les Miserables” and “Mean Girls” star could land her first Oscar nomination.

For supportive men, it can be more difficult to decide which, or if any, will be able to advance in a robust field. I found Arliss Howard’s Louis B. Mayer to be incredibly engaging and invigorating in a walk-in hallway shot – my favorite scene from the movie. British veteran Charles Dance might have enough juice to propel him to his first Oscar nomination with a two-stage punch that could get a voter response. As Mank’s brother Joseph Mankiewicz, the famous four-time Oscar winner for films like “All About Eve,” Tom Pelphrey focuses on the core of the picture, which some could admittedly be seen as missing. while Tom Burke is totally transformative as Orson Welles himself, and a standout.

The meticulous details place this film as the clear leader in several key categories. Cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt, in his narrative feature debut, could go down in history as the first person to win an Oscar for Best Cinematography for his first film. Oscar winner Claudio Miranda almost achieved this feat with “Life of Pi”, after his first work on “Failure to Launch”.

Production designer Donald Graham Burt, who won his first Oscar with Fincher for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” as well as Oscar-nominated decorator Jan Pascale (“Good Night, and Good Luck.”) Clearly come together in top of the list for their respective categories. The recreation of Hollywood of the 1930s and 1940s is beautifully invented.

Designed to look like any classic film of the modern era, the sound team will be definitely adopted as Emmy nominee Trish Summerville (HBO’s “Westworld”) heads to her first Oscar nomination for Best. costumes.

The songwriting duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who won their Oscar in 2010 for “The Social Network” but failed to be re-invited despite great efforts with “Gone Girl” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo », Highlighted their most innovative efforts yet. Unrecognizable to anything they’ve ever composed, the twinning can be a double threat with upcoming work in Pixar’s “Soul”, which would make them the first double-nominated composers since Alexandre Desplat, who won his Oscar for ” The Shape of Water ”. “


So where did it all end up? While Twitter critics and movies will love “Mank,” most Netflix subscribers, like all of my own family, will miss it. But in 2018, it didn’t hurt “Roma” to have won 10 Oscar nominations. The story, written by Fincher’s late father, Jack Fincher, could very well be the first posthumous winner in a screenplay category since Sidney Howard for “Gone with the Wind” in 1939. The dialogue is rich and dense, and c ‘is a passionate project for Fincher, who was to make this film after “The Game” in the late 1990s. Any harsh criticism that might come from the film in terms of the story structure, could be deaf or unspoken due to the relationship of the filmmaker with the screenwriter.

As for Fincher himself, we can see a real battle in the field of best director between him and Chloe Zhao for “Nomadland”. The two films, as well as Netflix’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” by Aaron Sorkin and “One Night in Miami” by Amazon Studios, could be the ones vying for the top prize.

I can predict a scenario where “Mank” leads in the nominations tally with 13, getting all the technical nominations available, even visuals and makeup and hairstyle. At least, that’s what’s currently being predicted in my prediction charts for the Oscars. But I can’t help but wonder: what if “Roma” and “Mank” were swapped during their calendar years, proving that timing is everything? I think “Mank” would roll on “Green Book” in 2019, and that would have been Netflix’s first best pic. But this year at least, the streamer has a lot more to do.


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