Me and Orson Welles
Director: Richard Linklater, Madman Entertainment, Rated PG, 114 mins
What can best be described as an entertaining insight into Orson Welles (Citizen Kane) - an American giant of movies, theatre and radio - comes School of Rock directorRichard Linklater’s brilliant rendition of Me and Orson Welles.
The movie includes the electrifying performance of relative newcomer British actor Christian McKay’s portrayal of the legendary character, in which he virtually dominates every scene.
Holly Gent Palmo’s wonderful screen adaptation of Robert Kaplow’s 2003 novel of the same name tells the story of 17-year-old Richard Samuels (Zac Efron of High School Musical fame) who meets famous theatre director Orson Welles (McKay) during a trip to New York in 1937.
Impressed by Richard’s audacious nature Welles offers him the part of Lucius in his Shakespearean theatre production of Julius Caesar at the Mercury Theatre.
Richard meets and falls for Welles’ lovely assistant Sonya Jones (played by the talented Claire Danes from Stardust).
Even though Efron’s performance is somewhat disappointing, there are pleasing performances from Ben Chaplin (Dorian Gray) as George Coulouris who plays the part of Mark Anthony in Welles’ production and James Tupper as Welles’ close friend Joseph Cotton.
It is to Linklater’s great credit that he has vividly captured the period of 1930s New York in his film with great attention being paid to costume, language, location and transportation.
But it is McKay’s remarkable resemblance and portrayal of the Welles character -especially his mannerisms and voice - as well as Linklater’s superb direction that makes Me and Orson Welles a thoroughly enjoyable movie experience.
VIC'S VERDICT: 4 ½ Rubber Stamps
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