Me and Orson Welles
Zac Efron, Claire Danes
November 25, 2009
1 hour 54 minutes
I'm guessing that you have seen a Broadway show, musical production at school, or even a church play of the life of Jesus. But have you ever wondered what it's like before the curtains come up? Before the final curtain call? Or even before casting takes place? Well thanks to Richard Linklater and the book it's based on, Me and Orson Welles provides the viewer with what goes on before opening night, and also provides a story about love, affairs, and the power of theater. And, like Mr. Linklater's popular movie School of Rock, is surprisingly a well thought out movie with great acting from the well thought out cast.
In 1937 New York, Orson Welles is preparing to put on the stage version of Julius Ceaser, Broadway's first Shakespearean production at the Mercury Theatre. At the same time, an up and coming actor named Richard meets Welles and is offered a role in the play. At the same time, Richard is getting affections for Sonja, a woman who works at the Mercury theatre. Richard soon learns that sometimes one week can change the rest of your life.
I had heard teriffic things about this movie, so I had no choice but to see it. And I am sure as heck glad I did. This is one of the most artistic and literary movies about entertainment I've seen. Orson Welles was probably best known for his movie Citizen Kane and his frequent radio performances. I personally have never seen Citizen Kane or any of his movies. But I do want to now learn more about Mr. Welles' personal life, like the affairs he supposedly had. I also did enjoy the plot of the movie that revolved around the stepping stone in Orson's career.
I would also like to give a shout out to the actors in this movie. Zac Efron, who is best known for his teen comedies and musicals like 17 Again, Hairspray, and of course, the High School Musical series takes a smart but dramatic step into actual acting, and is actually one of the best parts of this movie. He kind of reminds me of a young Leonardo Dicaprio when he made teen hearthrob movies like Romeo+Juliet and the Oscar winning Titanic. I can see Mr. Efron going great places in his career, although I didn't get to see his most recent Charlie St. Cloud. But probably the best performance in the movie comes from newcomer Christian McKay as Orson Welles. He, of all of the performers has the most convincing and most dramatic role in the movie. I do wish he could've gotten a nomination at the Acadamy Awards this past year; He was that good.
Despite having Zac Efron, this movie is not suitable for the younger kids. It's much more suited for the Middle Schoolers, since adolescents my age could both enjoy and understand this movie well. Another reason is because this movie can have some foul language and sexual candor between Efron and some of his friends in the show. So for the parents who Netflix or Redbox this movie thinking it's family friendly, think again.
To summarize, Me and Orson Welles is a must see for both film and theater students, as well as Orson Welles fans. It is just a well made movie from a very talented cast and director. I totally would recommend this movie to theater fans as well as those who grew up in the Orson Welles generation. So to clear up, if you enjoy theater and want a good rental for you and/or lady friend or wife, this is that perfect movie to kill two hours with. Trust me, you will be surprised by the story 0f Me and Orson Welles.