In November 1937, high school student and aspiring thespian Richard Samuels takes a day trip into New York City. There, he meets and begins a casual friendship with Gretta Adler, their friendship based on a shared love and goal of a profession in the creative arts. But also on this trip, Richard stumbles across the Mercury Theatre and meets Orson Welles, who, based on an impromptu audition, offers Richard an acting job as Lucius in his modern retelling of Julius Caesar, which includes such stalwart Mercury Theatre players as Joseph Cotten and George Coulouris. Despite others with official roles as producer John Houseman, this production belongs to Welles, the unofficial/official dictator. In other words, whatever Welles wants, the cast and crew better deliver. These requests include everything, even those of a sexual nature. Welles does not believe in conventions and will do whatever he wants, which includes not having a fixed opening date, although the unofficial opening date is in ... Written by
The production of "Julius Caesar" that the film depicts ran for 157 performances during its run at the Mercury Theatre and later at the larger National Theatre (where it was transferred), by far the longest run of the play in Broadway history. See more »
When Orson finds Richard on the park bench, Orson's collar is up in the wide shot, but only half-up in the following close-up shots. See more »
By the year of 1592, Shakespeare was already an actor, and a playwright. Records of how his stage career began have not survived. We do know that in 1594 he joined a theater troupe. Called... anyone remember? Not everyone at once now. The Lord Chamberlain's Men.
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Gilson Lavis is listed as "Drumer" instead of "Drummer". See more »
I have seen a couple of good reviews of Me and Orson Welles, so decided to go and see whether they were merited. I'm pleased to report that the film certainly impressed me.
The film focuses on the rehearsals and opening of the play Caesar starring Orson Welles in 1937. Nominally Zac Efron plays the lead as Richard Samuels who is almost 18 and yearning to become an actor. A chance encounter with Orson Welles outside the Mercury theatre leads to Richard being cast as Lucius. Welles was one of those larger than life characters who had so much talent that they could get away with having a rather inflated ego.
This is the first time I have seen Zac Efron on screen and I have got to say he played the role of the star struck teenager very nicely. The character is full of dreams and it certainly resonates long after the film has finished.
If Christian McKay does not get a supporting actor Oscar nomination for his Orson Welles portrayal it will be a travesty. He is quite simply superb. I've always found Claire Danes very engaging and she is also very good in this as are a number of the supporting cast including Ben Chaplin and Zoe Kazan.
If you are after traditional blockbuster fare from your movies then you are probably well advised to skip Me and Orson, but if you like an intelligent film that is well scripted, well directed (by Richard Linklater) and well acted then it's a must see.
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