1 Hour, 54 Minutes
PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.
for sexual references and smoking.
Extra DVD Features: The Making of Me And Orson Welles; The Real Orson Welles; The Gate Q & A; The Mercury's Caesar; Deleted Scenes
Richard Samuels - Zac Efron
Sonja Jones - Claire Danes
Orson Welles - Christian McKay
Gretta Adler - Zoe Kazan
Joseph Cotten - James Tupper
Norman Lloyd - Leo Bill
John Houseman - Eddie Marsan
George Coulouris - Ben Chaplin
| Director Richard Linklater ("Before Sunset") based his film on the novel by Robert Kaplow about a fictional, theater-crazed
17-year-old high school student Richard Samuels (Zac Efron
"High School Musical"), who arrives at Orson Welles' Mercury Theater
during the final week of his rehearsals for his modern-dress version of
Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. In a coincidental stroke of luck Richard is asked
by Welles (newcomer Christian McKay) to play the small role of Lucius. Welles' ambitious assistant
Sonja (Claire Danes "Stardust") warms to Richard quickly, while Welles sweeps him
into his orbit by taking him, in a speeding ambulance, to one of his day
jobs, where he dazzles all by improvising during a live-theater
It's a heady world Richard has landed in. At a mere
22, Welles had just recently produced an
all-black production of "Macbeth" in Harlem, and he and his co-producer John Houseman (Eddie
Marsan "Hancock"), with whom he bickers constantly, are intent on making
theatrical history with their new Shakespeare production on Broadway. Early on, Richard is warned
never to criticize the boss, and told he'll have to tolerate lots of
bad behavior in exchange for the the privilege of basking in genius.
Richard increasingly becomes involved with
the older Sonja, who's also the object of unrequited lust by every man in the company, including Joseph Cotten (James
Tupper "Corky Romano"), but the
immature boy inevitably takes a back seat to Welles himself who's alternating between acting as Brutus and directing everyone else. Among the other familiar Welles cohorts are Norman Lloyd (Leo Bill "28 Days Later"), the eternally pessimistic George Coulouris (Ben Chaplin "The Water Horse"), Greta Adler (Zoe Kazan "Revoltionary Road") and Les Tremayne (Michael Brandon "Déjà Vu") who all have their moments.
Christian McKay who has
previously portrayed the larger than life Welles on stage in the one man show "Rosebud: The Lives
of Orson Welles" has very much the right look and sound and best of
all, he precisely catches Welles' humor, with arched eyebrow, ironic
sense of amusement and mocking self-modesty as he sneaks off to trysts with willing actresses and assistants, while continuing
his radio show which pays the bills and never apologizing for his raging
ego. And Zac Efron holds his own as Richard although he does seem a bit mature playing a high school student.
Me and Orson Welles is a must for lovers of the theater and admirers of fine acting, and it ends on a note of happiness and hope for
both Orson and Richard. But basically it will only appeal to art-house