Review: “Mank”

If you come to David Fincher’s Mank seeking a definitive answer to the question of who really wrote Citizen Kane you are likely to find yourself disappointed. The question, first raised by film critic Pauline Kael in a 1971 essay, has hung out there in the cinema atmosphere for decades. Kael’s conclusion that it was…

Review: “Hillbilly Elegy”

When J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy was published in 2016, there was some controversy as to whether Vance’s take on Appalachian culture as embodied by his family was truly representative. Others latched on to Vance’s memoir as a guide to understanding red state politics and the rise of Trump.   The Ron Howard-directed film adaptation,…