Amanda Seyfriend Mank
MANK (2020)

In today’s Movie News Rundown: A preview of Mank, the latest from David Fincher, raises the question: How many Oscars? Plus: Baby Yoda is back, Jeff Bridges has a new place to share his personal news, and a postcard from the Pacific Northwest.

Hey, it’s Mandalorian Day! The Season 2 premiere is up on Disney+ and I’m amped enough to pull the ears off a gundark.

Mank Oscar Predicitions: David Fincher’s latest had a special virtual screening last night, ahead of its Nov. 13 limited theatrical release and Dec. 4 Netflix debut. The film was written by his father, Jack Fincher, and follows screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) as he wrote Citizen Kane. Amanda Seyfried plays Marion Davies, paramour of Mank’s quarry, William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate who inspired Charles Foster Kane. The instant reaction? Oscar predictions.

For Example: The New York Times asks if it will be Netflix’s first Best Picture winner. The Hollywood Reporter thinks it could win, noting that Netflix also has another Best Picture contender with Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7. Variety also expects big things, but wonders if “in a year that has seen the movie industry (and movie theaters) put on hold, the celebration of the movies is likely to be top of mind for awards voters.”

Mank Americans Citizen Kane David Fincher Gary Oldman

Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davies as Gary Oldman as Herman J. Mankiewicz in the David Fincher Oscar-magnet Mank.

Personally: I don’t do awards handicapping, but respectfully disagree with Variety: It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Mank wins Best Picture because Hollywood always likes focusing on Hollywood. MovieMaker will dive deep in the coming weeks into the bountiful cinematic and political references beautifully layered into the Mank script. (Aside: I love the chemistry between Oldman and Seyfried and don’t know if this is true but want it to be true that their easy rapport comes from their past collaboration on the 2011 werewolf picture Red Riding Hood, produced by Leonardo Di Caprio, a film I hope someone is doing an oral history of as I write this.)

Fighting the Good Fight: Richard Herskowitz, artistic director of the Ashland Independent Film Festival, told us how the Southern Oregon film festival has persevered through the pandemic and massive fires. He’s an inspiration, and listening to him may make you move to Ashland. You can listen on Apple or Spotify or here:


Jeff Bridges Updates: Shall henceforth come directly from The Dude himself at his new site, Bridges will discuss his lymphoma treatment and highlight issues he’d like to “shine a light on.” No. 1? “Trees, man.” Bridges writes:”This cancer thing is bringing on feelings of preciousness, and gratitude, and good old fashion love, and lots of it, big time. I’m feeling so much of it comin’ my way, and man, I appreciate it. It’s contagious, all this love, like some kind of positive virus.”

And Now: Here’s Yesterday’s Movie News Rundown, and have a very happy Halloween, everyone!