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MANK (Netflix) This excellent movie is about the making of a true cin-


ema classic. Director David Fincher and his screenwriter father pay overdue tribute to Herman J. Mankiewicz, the Oscar-winning but disputed author of Orson Welles’ groundbreaking Citizen Kane. Known simply as “Mank” in 1930s-1940s Hollywood, he is vividly, lovingly reincar- nated by Oscar winner Gary Oldman. Fincher recreates Welles’ directorial style impeccably. The film is beautifully shot in black and white. It also boasts great supporting performances by Amanda Seyfried as actress Marion Davies and Arliss Howard as studio titan Louis B. Mayer.


FIRST COW (A24) and


(IFC Films) What a pair of extraordinarily intimate, immersive


TRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANG


period films. The first, directed by the accom- plished Kelly Reichardt, details a mismatched pair of pioneering men in the 1820s and their deepening relationship. The second is about Ned Kelly, an Australian folk hero. He and his devoted band of followers fought to drive the British out and restore the land to its native citizens during the 1870s. Alas, Kelly was ultimately executed for his efforts. A number of previous movies have presumed to tell his story, but none have taken such a gender- and sexually-fluid approach as Justin Kurzel’s impressive production, with rising star George MacKay (1917, Pride) as Kelly.


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DA 5 BLOODS (Netflix) In what may well be Spike Lee’ s most entertaining and accessible film to date, four Black veterans of the Vietnam War reunite in modern-day


Saigon to retrieve the body of a fallen comrade as well as a fortune in lost gold. That being said, there is still plenty of the director’s trademark social critique and questioning attitude on display. The superb international cast includes Delroy Lindo, Jean Reno, Ngo Thanh Van and the late Chadwick Boseman, plus talented up and comer Jonathan Majors.


4 JANUARY 2021| @theragemonthly 21


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