Holed up in the remote North Verde Ranch in California’s Mojave Desert and nursing a broken leg, veteran screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman), acclaimed and notorious in equal measure, scratches away at a screenplay that will become Citizen Kane (1941), the first film from New York theatre and radio wunderkind Orson Welles (Tom Burke).

A scandalous drunkard, “Mank” has been supplied with a nurse, Fräulein Frieda (Monika Gossmann), a secretary, Rita Alexander (Lily Collins), and a serious supply of barbiturates to help deal with alcohol withdrawal. For the script, Mank draws on his experiences as part of the inner circle of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst (Charles Dance) and his friendship with the tycoon’s mistress, actress Marion Davies (Amanda Seyfried). So, like in Kane, we jump back and forth in time, as Mank reminisces about his days breathing rarefied air in 1930s Hollywood.

Read more at Mr. Movies Film Blog.

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