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:: Me & Orson Welles

Me and Orson Welles, based on a novel by Robert Kaplow and directed by Richard Linklater, dramatises the week leading up to and including the 1937 premiere of the revolutionary modern dress Mercury Theatre (New York) production of Julius Caesar. Told from the point of view of a young aspiring actor named Richard (Zac Efron) the movie shows what it was rumoured to be like to work for the legendary Orson Welles.

This is a great period piece. The costumes, the set and the music all have a genuine 1937 feel. What makes this movie so watchable is the great performance of Christian McKay as the brilliant and talented Orson Welles. McKay manages to capture the arrogance and perfectionist control that Welles was reported to have. The acting all around is really good in this movie. Zac Efron looks and sounds like he is from the 1930’s. Claire Danes is also nice to watch as Welles’ assistant and young Richard’s love interest.

Other historical members of the company, such as George Coulouris (Ben Chaplin, playing Marc Antony) and Joseph Cotten (James Tupper, playing Publius) add to the intrigue and panic behind the scenes as the opening date approaches. Shot mainly in the UK using an old theatre on the Isle of Man, the period is beautifully recreated in every detail, including the swing band score.

Fans of theatrical history, especially Orson Welles fans, will find Me and Orson Welles an interesting and entertaining movie to watch.

DVD Extras

Deleted scenes
Interview with original Mercury Theatre player Norman Lloyd and star of ME & ORSON WELLES, Christian MacKay