I imagine that many of those who expected Mank to premiere on December 4th were especially thrilled with David Fincher's long-awaited return to full-length filmmaking. I would also hope that most of the film's greatest champions have seen Citizen Kane, or at least know something of its place in film history. I wouldn't be surprised, however, if the title role of Herman Mankiewicz, played by Gary Oldman, is someone many have never heard of before.
In fact, I would understand if most of the characters in the original Netflix biography were strangers to someone who wasn't very familiar with Hollywood's Golden Age. Mank (a passionate project for director David Fincher, written in the '90s by his late father Jack) takes a dazzlingly funny, aesthetically meta, and shockingly relevant look at the behind-the-scenes era through the eyes of its central character – a productive one itself Figure for the time, though she never became a household name. A few familiar names pop up – like Charlie Chaplin, Bette Davis, and Clark Gable – but you may not even have noticed they were in their brief on-screen moments.