ME AND ORSON WELLES (E1, 2008) D: Richard.
ME AND ORSON WELLES (E1, 2008) D: Richard Linklater, w/ Zac Efron, Claire Danes. Rating: NNN DVD package: NN Rating: NNN
For most of its running time, Me And Orson Welles is a likeable, lightweight backstage and coming-of-age comedy.
A drama-smitten student (Zac Efron) lands a bit part with Orson Welles’s Mercury Theatre in 1937, a week before they open Julius Caesar, a production that will make or break the director’s reputation.
Chaos and actorly bitchiness abound, the kid starts a romance with the career-minded producer’s assistant (Claire Danes), and Welles presides over all, alternately tyrannical and charming.
Christian McKay’s Welles is charismatic and emotionally mercurial, which lends considerable weight to the dark view of actors in his “god-given actor” speech.
Welles’s Julius Caesar was in fact a groundbreaking production. You can learn a little about it and Welles in the extras.
EXTRAS Making-of doc, real Orson Welles doc, cast and director Q&A, deleted scenes. Widescreen. English, French audio and subtitles.