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Me and Orson Welles
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Me and Orson Welles More at IMDbPro »

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Orson Welles that ends Orwellian

10/10
Author: John Wayne Peel (jwpeel@tiac.net) from United States
8 April 2017

Oh my GOD, do I love this film! I've never been so enamored and moved by Richard Linklater's work and this fabulous production that makes you want to devour the work of the ultimate genius of an actor. producer and director, Mr. Orson Welles.

For those who hated the picture, they should never again to be allowed to review movies. Christian McKay was a phenomenal Orson Welles, with all the touches. From that great voice to his use of eyes, eyebrows and chutzpah. Just an amazing piece of work on his part.

The story of the making of "Julius Caesar" in a scary part of history with fascism becoming almost the norm, while making incredible acting work in the major parts of John Houseman, Joseph Cotten and others with impeccable performances by those who loved the period, and the people that went with the history.

Now, I have read most of these reviews, and I don't care about some of the seemingly petty mistakes made by writer and director about who did what history correctly. It doesn't matter.

I will let one thing bother me, making the wonderful Norman Lloyd out to be a not so nice husband to his then newly married bride. I don't see why the writer felt the need to ad such a unnecessary touch of insult to a good man, even for a motion picture.

But Mr. Lloyd did give McKay great compliments so richly deserved was a great thing.

This is a movie I want to see again and again, particularly because of the not so well-groomed actors who played Orson in other films that bothered me so much at the time.

Forgive me, but I really have a problem when a well known actor, President or other famous person doesn't even resemble said person. It's like telling people "You WILL believe Whoopi Goldberg is Ben Franklin" when she CAN'T be.

I look forward to my next watching of this super great film.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

great performance from Christian McKay and Zac Efron as a movie star

8/10
Author: SnoopyStyle
27 May 2014

It's 1937. On a trip to NYC, high school student Richard Samuels (Zac Efron) befriends artistic Gretta Adler (Zoe Kazan). Then he accidentally run into Orson Welles (Christian McKay) at the Mercury Theatre. Orson offers him the role of Lucius in his Julius Caesar. Orson is a dictator and Sonja Jones (Claire Danes) takes him under her wings.

Zac Efron starts off completely self assured. I think it would better if he starts off unsure with Gretta and Sonja. He should be more like a green youngster that the movie wants him to start off as. He is too much of a big movie star right from the start. Other than that, these are great performances from everybody especially Christian McKay. Director Richard Linklater allows the actors to flourish in this.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

What a man , What an Ego!

8/10
Author: Mike B from Canada
25 July 2012

A very nicely depicted film of the U.S. in the 1930's (centred in New York) with the musical flavour of the era. It's about a young man (still in secondary school?) who finds a small character spot in Orson Welles's theatre reproduction of "Julius Caesar" – it's a sort of fascist rendition. With his employment comes romance, betrayal and more romance –all of this centred on the theatre. The main actor (the young man in search of love, fame and immortality) is played, I felt, rather tepidly by Zac Efron. But, perhaps, this is deliberate as the other actors surrounding him more than make up for this, particularly Christian McKay who plays Orson Welles. And there are a cast of dozens in this film vying for Orson's attention, adulation and fame - and it all works rather well.

It has an authentic 1930's feel with relationships made and unmade at great speed. There is comedy and plenty of conflict in the entire theatre production – and an Orson Welles who has more than a swelled ego. It's a fun watch with a tidy ending.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

a heart-warming surprise

9/10
Author: najwa-sky-limit from palestine
17 May 2012

when i first heard of the movie i didn't give it much attention first because i thought it's a Zac Efron movie and second bc i didn't know what the hick it's about but tonight when i was scrolling down the channels i noticed a movie about the 30s which am crazily fond of and boom her is zac who i thought was the least talented actor in America but i had nothing to do so i gave it a shot and thank god i did because this film is one of the best films I've ever seen and zac really surprised me with his acting which was serious and impressive and he also made me laugh with some of his well delivered lines.on the other hand, who really impressed me in this was the actor playing orson welles i don't know his name and I've never seen him in a movie before but he made me feel like he's the most famous actor in the world. of course the other cast members are astonishing even the small roles are noticeable which proves what a great director linklater must be.the music, the costumes, the color of the movie, the dialogue, all in all the movie made my day and it deserved more credit. i promise you won't full a sleep watching it

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Simple but worth a watch

6/10
Author: gemmampass from Lincoln, England
31 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Set in the post depression of New York, budding actor Richard Linclaters (Zac Efron) gets a part in a theatre show run by Orson Welles. Soon Richard discovers the demands needed to stay in a theatre run by a truly power hungry man whilst understanding there are some people out there that will do anything to succeed.

This explores the ups and downs of theatre lift and how a slight romance can interrupt that.

It includes an interesting insight into the early life of Orson Wells, although not showing him in the nicest of lights. Basically whatever Orson wants Orson gets.

The story line is a bit weak and the film itself is slow with little much happening. It takes a while to get into but it's an easy film to follow.

Zac Efron gives his usual convincing performance although it is good to see him taking new directions other than his usual films.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining but slight

7/10
Author: Charles Herold (cherold) from United States
5 January 2011

You really can't go wrong making a movie with Orson Welles as a character. One of the most interesting and brilliant Americans of the 20th century, the actor/writer/director was a bigger-than-life character. Christian McKay's wonderful performance as the mercurial Welles is so thoroughly entertaining that it makes this movie feel like a better movie than it is when you think about it afterward.

The problem is, Welles' strong character is surrounded by much weaker ones. While the performers are good, only Ben Chaplin as George Colouris and Leo Bill as Norman Lloyd are really distinct. Zac Efron is fine in the invariably-generic part of the young man who falls in with the great man and Claire Danes is pleasant as a love - or at least sex - interest, but they both feel rather like stock characters.

At the end of the movie I found myself wondering, what was the point? Danes and Efron both feel like characters whose purpose is only to give us a human entry point to view the superhuman Welles. It is Welles who is interesting, and it is the recreation of some of Welles' production of Julius Caesar that stands out as the only really important thing in the movie.

In the movie My Favorite Year, in which a nebishy comedy writer babysits a drunken fictionalized take on Errol Flynn, you could remove Peter O'Toole's brilliant performance as the star and still have a lot of interesting scenes provided by the rest of the cast. This is not true in Me and Orson Welles. Remove Welles' character and you would be hard pressed to stay awake through the film. McKay is so good in the role, and Welles is such a fascinating character, that the movie gets away with its rather lazy character development, but five minutes after watching the end credits I found myself already forgetting everything in the movie except Welles.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

It was 1937, and a young actor encounters the unique Mr Orson Welles.

Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
21 September 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Zac Efron is Richard Samuels in a role quite unlike his "High School Musical" roles. He is a high school student who longs to be a serious actor. He is hanging around the Mercury theater in New York and somehow, on the spur of the moment, Orson Welles notices him and recruits him for a part in his upcoming production of 'Julius Caesar.' Mind you, this was 5 years before he became a film icon with "Citizen Kane", but he had already formed his ego and his approach.

In the theater setting young Richard meets assistant, Claire Danes as Sonja Jones. She is a slightly older woman, Richard takes to her easily and she takes to Richard.

Even though he has third billing, arguably the star of the movie is British actor Christian McKay as Orson Welles. I didn't know Welles myself, but everything I have heard or even imagined about Welles is presented here, in this role.

A really good movie about Welles and about the early theater. The critic Ebert has an accurate, complete review.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

All About Evenings.. with Orson

8/10
Author: ptb-8 from Australia
19 September 2010

OH yes! YES! YES! In the words of Meg Ryan..... ME AND ORSON WELLES is that level of delight. Finally a film in 2010 for lovers of cinema and theatre and the spritz of youth and the gorgeousness of Claire Daines. If you have been afraid to go back into the stalls, then let ME AND ORSON WELLES take you there. This film is a completely refreshing humane and bitterly funny coming of age thrill. Ideal fresh casting, big surprise from charming Zac and Claire (in beautiful clothes) a lovely sense of art direction that reminded me of two of my favourite films RADIO DAYS and PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO... and an absolutely outstanding performance by Christian McKay... this is a film for anyone keen for a heartwarming and rewarding and very funny film. It restored my faith in movies for the year. Zac Efron might almost soon be old enough to make a movie biography of Tyrone Power, a classic Hollywood star of the 30s and 40s to whom is closely resembles. You read it here first, folks!.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Boring

Author: potato2
15 September 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It is 1937, and high school senior Richard (Zac Efron) dreams of being an actor. A chance meeting with 22-year old Orson Welles (Christian McKay) results in a bit part in Welles' groundbreaking, modern-dress version of "Caesar" soon to open on Broadway. During a week of rehearsals at the Mercury Theatre, Richard is befriended by the cast and crew including John Houseman, Joseph Cotten, and Welle's assistant, Sonja (Claire Danes).

I think this movie was meant to bring Zac Efron out of teenage musicals and into more serious roles, but it doesn't succeed. His character is bland and forgettable and he lacks charisma. His mannerisms and speech so contemporary that he looks out of place in the thirties' story. His love interest, played by Claire Danes, is also colorless and boring. Nothing that happened to or between Richard and Sonja was interesting or memorable. On the other hand, Christian McKay looks and sounds so much like the larger-than-life Welles that one forgets he's not the real thing. Welles' arrogance and theatricality and his brilliant wit make him a dazzling, shining star and he is the entire show.

The plot is tedious and, with the exception of Welles, the characters are dreary, so I recommend this movie only to fans of Welles.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

What a difference a week can make

8/10
Author: Wes Lambert (mockingmovies@gmail.com) from United States
24 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've been waiting for "Me and Orson Welles" to have a U.S. DVD release ever since seeing some clips during the 2010 BAFTA(s) and I can say it did not disappoint. The story is that of Richard Samuels (Zac Efron) a bored high schooler who in the course of a week, meets Orson Welles, is cast in the now famous 1937 Broadway production of Julius Caesar and just as quickly fired. It's a fantastic period piece with a backdrop of the sophisticated New York artistic set. Actually maybe that's not completely accurate. The real backdrop may be the over the top ego and personality of Orson Welles(which appears to rival NYC in size). Christian McKay (who has not one credit on IMDb I recognize) is incredible as Welles. The viewer should dislike him but perhaps like the real life person, he is too charming and funny to truly resent. Claire Danes equally impresses at doing well with a role that could be described as a bit flat. She is the older love (and sex) interest who introduces Richard to the unfortunate landscape of adult relationships. I love Claire Danes mostly because I can still hold onto the sixteen year old iconic mopey Angela Chase and still appreciate her as a fully evolved adult actress. The only stumbling point in this movie may be the "me". Zac Efron is a bit of a mystery to me. If he had given himself completely over the dark side of Disney, I am sure I would see him as "that kid" from "those annoying High-School Musical movies". However I genuinely enjoyed him in "17 Again"; so I had to get over that. Here he does the comedy of someone out of their element well but fails to fully convince when he is called upon to do drama. It's a minor complaint though that doesn't detract from the whole...and who knows maybe I will have to eat those words when I see "Charlie St. Cloud" which is getting some good reviews for Efron.

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