70 years on, critics and fans alike still discuss what Charles Foster Kane's final word meant before his passing. 'Rosebud' it was, the name of his childhood sleigh. Whatever the word means, Citizen Kane explores the burden of being powerful and the loneliness that money brings. To call this film 'influential' is a massive understatement.
Whilst Orson Welles' film and performance strongly nods to the idea that money (and the grandeur of Xanadu) cannot buy happiness, the film has left a significant print on the history of cinema and film making specifically because of its innovative aesthetics and approach to storytelling. Welles' use of flashback and unreliable narration throughout the film challenged conventionally linear modes of storytelling used in Hollywood cinema at a time when films were dictated by studio production and control. The film is, naturally, a little dated after seven decades, but it still breathes an air of elegance to this day. Welles onscreen is still amazing as Charles Foster Kane; he's an enigmatic media business tycoon. Despite his showings of kindness here and bouts of anger there, Kane reeks of melancholy, a personality trait symptomatic of his lost parentage and lonely rise to power. He's a scarred, complex figure that drifts from one Ivy League university to another. Brilliant supporting performances from Agnes Moorehead, William Alland, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, George Colouris and many others all unite to help create a brilliant tale about a mysterious, sad, but powerful man and a journalist's desire to unravel his psychology to the public