Zac Efron wins hearts and applause as Richard, the Me of this celebratory curtain call for when dreams -- and the theater -- were big. Christian McKay offers an uncanny Welles, the imposing, impetuous center of Richard's exciting new universe. Claire Danes is the enterprising stage assistant drawn into both men's lives. And Richard Linklater (Before Sunset, The School of Rock) directs with the vibrant spirit of those for whom all the world is a stage. Bravo!
Me & Orson Welles
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Top Customer Reviews
All these elements of his considerable personality are on display in Richard Linkletter's newest film, Me and Orson Welles. The movie tells the story of a seventeen-year-old boy named Richard (though he's mostly referred to as "Junior"). He's played by Zac Efron (looking sexier than ever), in his finest role to date, which isn't saying a lot.
Richard is a reasonably naive boy who winds up meeting Welles as the great man is preparing for his 1937 stage production of Julius Caesar, a ground-breaking presentation that moved the story into modern times, dressing the cast in fascist uniforms and casting an obvious Jew as the poet Cinna. Richard ends up in the play as a servant to Welles' Brutus, a role which requires him to learn to play the ukulele after claiming he already knew how.
Richard meets all the famous players of the Mercury Theatre, most notably Joseph Cotton, Norman Lloyd and George Coulouris. He also meets, and falls in love with, the beautiful Sonja Jones (Claire Danes). Like Richard, she's a fictional character, and also like Richard, she's far less interesting than the real characters around them.
The movie is completely stolen by Christian McKay's performance as Welles. It is as letter-perfect as any I've ever seen.Read more ›
However, director Richard Linklater (Dazed & Confused), usually not a specialist in period pieces, chooses to focus on the fictional character of 17-year-old Richard Samuels to carry the plot as he witnesses Welles' genius firsthand as a protégé-turned-actor. Filmmaker Cameron Crowe tried the same perspective shift in 2000's Almost Famous, but the device doesn't work as well this time. It's not that teen heartthrob Zac Efron is bad in the role. In fact, he brings an enthusiastic sincerity to his comparatively shallow role, but the dominance of McKay's towering performance provides an imbalance that is difficult to ignore.Read more ›
As a work of historical fiction, "Me and Orson Welles," written by Holly Gent Palmo and Vince Palmo and directed by Richard Linklater, is less intriguing for the story it tells than for its behind-the-scenes glimpse into the theatrical world of 1930s New York and for the way in which it captures the pulse of its era (even though the interiors were largely filmed in England). The real joy of the film lies in the performance by Christian McKay, who, as Welles, perfectly nails the look and sound of the pop culture legend without once resorting to mimicry or caricature in his effort to do so. Through McKay's work, we get to see Welles for the eccentric and multi-faceted genius (and all-around pain-in-the-ass) he really was - a natural-born entertainer, a smooth-talking ladies man, a raging megalomaniac, and an unforgiving taskmaster, who, through a canny combination of hard work and good, old-fashioned showmanship, turned himself into a household name.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting and realistic portrayal of Welles (if questionably of other real persons fictionalized in the film) during a brief segment of his career, based on the novel by Robert... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sequelae Are
A refreshing movie with insight into the production of a play and the egos of those involved. Great acting and interactions between characters. Enjoyed the music and costumes. Read morePublished 1 month ago by chris gagne
Went to see an Orson Welles movie and someone was passing out cards about this movie at the theater. It is not going to change your life but an enjoyable movie. Read morePublished 4 months ago by D. Corbishley
Shipping and packaging were fine but the movie itself was a sleeper. Expected way better based on expert reviews.Published 7 months ago by P. A. Good
Zac Efron is a wonder in this Gem of a DVD... Please ad to Your DVD Collection...Published 8 months ago by Gerald Shattuck
He was all Sonja, his office manager/pr girl, (Clare Danes) said he was: aggravating, critical, self centered, manipulating, egoistic, and, brilliant. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Lanna S. Seuret