If there's one thing Hollywood enjoys, it's a love letter to itself! Join Wonderwall.com as we take a look at movies about Tinseltown… starting with the new film "Mank," which hit Netflix on Dec. 4. The David Fincher project follows famed screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he works to complete the screenplay for Orson Welles' first feature film, "Citizen Kane." Oscar winner Gary Oldman plays the titular drama critic-turned-alcoholic writer while Amanda Seyfried (pitured) stars as actress Marion Davies, Charles Dance plays William Randolph Hearst, Arliss Howard takes on Louis B. Mayer and Lily Collins portrays Mank's secretary, Rita Alexander. Keep reading for more…
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2019's "Once Upon A Time in Hollywood" stars Leonardo DiCaprio as '50s Western film and TV star Rick Dalton, who now finds himself struggling to find work in a changing Hollywood in the late '60s. The Quentin Tarantino flick follows Rick and best bud and loyal stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) as he attempts to relaunch his career. Unbeknownst to the men, however, Rick is next door neighbors with filmmaker Roman Polanski (Rafal Zawierucha) and the moviemaker's young wife, up-and-coming actress Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), who are targeted by members of the murderous Manson Family. In typical Tarantino fashion, the Academy Award-winning film explores historical events by way of a twisted, alternate reality.
2017 Academy Awards best picture debacle aside, Damien Chazelle's "La La Land" serves as a love letter that delves into the trials and tribulations that come with trying to make it in Hollywood. The musical drama starring Emma Stone as Mia, a struggling actress, and Ryan Gosling as Sebastian, a disillusioned jazz enthusiast, follows the 20-somethings as they pursue their respective passions while also falling in love with each other. The 2016 film, which earned Emma an Academy Award for best actress, explores the tension between following your dreams and keeping a relationship alive.
Starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, the 1952 classic "Singin' in the Rain" tells the story of Don Lockwood, a famous silent film actor who's chosen to star in a musical. When his co-star and frequent leading lady, the insipid Lina Lamont, fails to impress vocally, Kathy Selden — a promising young actress — is brought on to record Lina's singing voice. "Singin' in the Rain," which is among the greatest musical films ever created, offers a whimsical, cheery depiction of Hollywood in the '20s.
The 2018 version of the Oscar-nominated "A Star is Born" stars Lady Gaga as struggling singer Ally, a young woman on the brink of giving up her dream, when famed yet troubled musician Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) sees her performing at a dive bar. Taken by her talent, Jackson brings Ally into the spotlight and helps ignite her career as sparks begin to fly between them. As Ally's career blossoms, their relationship begins to suffer as Jackson's battle with addiction and mental illness consumes him. Bradley also wrote, directed and produced the music-filled romantic drama, which was inspired by the 1937 original and its two subsequent musical versions that came out in 1954 and 1976.
Written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze, 2002's Academy Award-nominated "Adaptation" is a metafilm that tells of Charlie's experiences adapting the source material, Susan Orlean's novel "The Orchid Thief," into a screenplay. The movie, which also consists of a series of fictionalized events, stars Nicolas Cage as Charlie and his made-up twin brother, Donald, as well as Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper, who earned both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for best supporting actor for his work in the project. For her performance, Meryl Streep also earned a Golden Globe Award for best supporting actress.
In 2014's "Map to the Stars," Julianne Moore stars as Havana Segrand, a disconcerted actress who contemplates taking on a potentially career-defining role as her mother, who also happens to be a famous actress. The company she keeps isn't the most reliable either — the son of her analyst, Benji (Evan Bird), is a spoiled and affluent former child star who struggles to navigate life outside of rehab. Havana decides to hire a mysterious woman named Agatha (Mia Wasikowska), who ends up facilitating a series of dangerous revelations that unravel the lives of everyone around her.
Dubbed "a love story in the city of dreams" by David Lynch, its writer and director, "Mulholland Drive" follows Rita (Laura Harring), a woman afflicted with amnesia after a car crash. As she wanders around Los Angeles, she eventually meets Betty (Naomi Watts), a warm, charming young woman from the Midwest who moved to the city to pursue her dream of being an actress. Together, Betty and Rita work to figure out the truth behind Rita's identity. The 2001 psychological thriller, which is recognized as one of the greatest films of the 21st century, also earned David — who famously created "Twin Peaks" — an Academy Award nomination for best director.
1991's "Barton Fink," which is set in 1941, stars John Turturro as the titular character, a New York City playwright who agrees to write films in Los Angeles. As he struggles to sit down and pen a script, he looks to his neighbor, insurance salesman Charlie Meadows (John Goodman), for help as peculiar occurrences take place around them. The movie, which was written and directed by the Coen Brothers, earned three Academy Award nods: best supporting actor for Michael Lerner, best art direction/set decoration and best costume design.
Directed by Robert Zemeckis, 1988's animated and live-action hybrid "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" follows Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins), a downtrodden private investigator who's called to uncover details surrounding a possible infidelity scandal involving Jessica Rabbit (voiced by Kathleen Turner), the wife of famed star Roger Rabbit (voiced by Charles Fleischer). However, when the man Jessica has supposedly been having an affair with, Toontown owner Marvin Acme (Stubby Kaye), turns up dead, Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) makes it his personal mission to put Roger behind bars for the crime. The movie, which playfully depicts 1947 Hollywood, earned three Academy Awards for best visual effects, best sound effects editing and best film editing.
Directed by Tim Burton, 1994's biopic "Ed Wood" stars Johnny Depp as the titular filmmaker. Deemed an outcast in Tinseltown due to his aberrant ways and peculiar habits, Ed, with the help of former Hollywood star Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau) and a group of like-minded individuals, works to bring his larger-than-life vision to the big screen. The film, which is considered by many to be a cult classic, earned two Academy Awards including best supporting actor for Martin.
Set in 1956, 2006's "Hollywoodland" follows Louis Simo (Adrien Brody), a private detective who works to uncover the details surrounding the sudden death of actor George Reeves (Ben Affleck), who's best known for his role as "Superman." In the process of investigating the details of the actor's demise, Louis soon begins to finds connections to his own life. As he delves deeper into the case, Toni Mannix (Diane Lane) — the wife of studio executive Eddie Mannix (Bob Hoskins), who had an affair with George — begins to raise questions.
1995's crime-comedy film "Get Shorty" starring John Travolta follows Miami mobster Chili Palmer, who's sent to collect money from Hollywood producer Harry Zimm (Gene Hackman). While in Los Angeles, Chili meets Karen Flores (Rene Russo), the star of one of Harry's films, with whom he's immediately smitten. As he continues spending more time in Tinseltown, Chili begins to draw parallels between the movie business and what it takes to succeed in the mob. John earned a Golden Globe for best actor in a motion picture musical or comedy for his performance.
"The Artist," which is set in the 1920s, stars Jean Dujardin as George Valentin, a famous actor who falls for Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo), an innocent actress. Despite his reluctance to jeopardize his own marriage, George's attraction to the up-and-coming star continues to grow — but with the demise of silent films, her career begins to take off just as his begins to decelerate, adding even more strain to their forbidden romance. The black-and-white flick, which received widespread critical acclaim, earned 10 Oscar nominations and took home five awards including for best picture, best actor (Jean) and best director (Michel Hazanavicius).
Following an injury that's left him recovering in Los Angeles' famed Chateau Marmont hotel, actor Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) receives a surprising visitor: his 11-year-old daughter, Cleo (Elle Fanning). As they spend increasingly more time together, Johnny begins to wonder if his life of luxury and excess is really what matters in the grand scheme of things. The film — 2010's "Somewhere," which was written and directed by Sofia Coppola — explores a father-daughter relationship in a comedic yet poignant manner.
The 1998 period piece "Gods and Monsters" chronicles the life of James Whale (Ian McKellen), a formerly influential director whose body of work includes "Frankenstein" and "The Bride of Frankenstein." Now retired, in deteriorating health and engaging in meaningless flings with a series of men, James' life has devolved into a monotonous and uninspired routine. However, upon meeting Clayton Boone (Brendan Fraser), a gardener and retired Marine, the pair develop an unusual relationship. The drama, which fictionalizes the final days of James Whale's life, earned three Academy Award nominations and won the trophy for best adapted screenplay.
Billy Wilder's Academy Award-winning 1950 noir "Sunset Boulevard" tells the story of Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), a delusional silent film star who fails to accept that her time in the limelight is almost up. In an effort to keep her career alive, she devises a twisted plan and hires Joe Gillis (William Holden), an unsuccessful screenwriter, to help put her idea into motion. The pair soon realize, however, that neither is as easy to manipulate as they anticipated. "Sunset Boulevard," which was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry, earned 11 Oscar nods and won three awards: best story and screenplay, best production design and best original score.
2019's "Seberg," which takes place in the '60s, stars Kristen Stewart as Jean Seberg, a New Wave actress who finds herself on the brink of losing everything. Due to her romantic relationship with Black Panther activist Hakim Jamal (Anthony Mackie), whom she meets while flying to Los Angeles, and her show of support for the civil rights movement, Jane becomes increasingly scrutinized by the FBI. As time progresses, their invasive surveillance proves to both negatively and dangerously impact life as she knows it.
"Rules Don't Apply," which debuted in 2016 and is set in 1958, stars Lily Collins as a religious beauty queen from a small town who moves to Los Angeles to work for Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty). Upon meeting her driver, Frank Forbes (Alden Ehrenreich), at the airport, sparks immediately fly and the pair begin a romantic relationship against Howard's wishes. For her starring performance in the comedy-drama, Lily earned a Golden Globe nod for best actress in a motion picture comedy or musical.
The Coen Brothers' 2016 comedy "Hail, Caesar!" tells the story of Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), a business consultant at Capitol Pictures in the '50s who finds himself having to figure out how to rescue actor Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) after he's kidnapped while filming the titular epic. Should the studio fail to come up with $100,000, Baird's chances of survival are slim to none. The film, which also stars Ralph Fiennes, Alden Ehrenreich, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Channing Tatum, earned a 2017 Academy Award nomination for best production design.
2006's "For Your Consideration" stars Catherine O'Hara, Harry Shearer and Parker Posey as three actors who come to realize that a movie they're still in the process of filming is the subject of award season buzz. While the film itself, "Home for Purim," isn't the strongest contender, it gains attention from a distributor who wants to improve it as best he can. "For Your Consideration" was co-written by "Schitt's Creek" co-creator Eugene Levy.