‘Mank’ Was Steven Soderbergh’s Most-Watched Film of 2020

Tyler Hersko
·2 min read

It’s become an annual tradition for Steven Soderbergh to share his most-watched and read films, television shows, and books. “Mank,” David Fincher’s acclaimed biographical drama, served as Soderbergh’s most-watched film of 2020.

Soderbergh shared his 2020 media diet in a Tuesday post on his “Seen, Read” list that the filmmaker updates every January. Soderbergh first watched “Mank” on March 21, well before the film’s public premiere in November 2020. Soderbergh re-watched the film two days later, again in May, and viewed it a fourth and final time on December 2.

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Soderbergh’s early look at “Mank” wasn’t just for his own amusement; IndieWire reported in December that Soderbergh offered feedback during the film’s development, which led to the editing of one of the film’s pivotal scenes. Soderbergh critiqued the film’s complicated costume party set piece, which star Gary Oldman performed around 100 takes for.

“Soderbergh came during an early assembly and he just didn’t get why Hearst was putting up with Mank’s shit,” “Mank” editor Kirk Baxter (two-time Oscar winner for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “The Social Network”) told IndieWire in December. “And David and I talked about that. I very much make a movie with David, for David, and I’m not exposed to too many people during the process. But I found that the criticism helped. It didn’t provide the answer, it just provided the question.”

“Mank” centered on screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and his work on the screenplay for 1941’s “Citizen Kane.” “Mank” received positive reviews from critics, including IndieWire’s Eric Kohn, who lauded it as one of Fincher’s most ambitious filmmaking experiments and his best film since 2010’s “The Social Network” in his grade B+ review.

Soderbergh watched a variety of other films throughout 2020, ranging from “Psycho” and “The Matrix” to “The Wicker Man,” “Mad Max,” Citizen Kane,” and “The Beastie Boys Story,” among a myriad of other projects. The filmmaker also watched an array of television shows, including recent titles like “Rick and Morty,” “I May Destroy You,” “Better Call Saul, “PEN15,” and the stand-up comedy special “Hannibal Buress: Miami Nights,” among others.

Soderbergh’s full “Seen, Read” list can be viewed here.

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