6.8/10
10,106
73 user 159 critic

Me and Orson Welles (2008)

Trailer
1:50 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

In 1937, a teenager is cast in the Mercury Theatre production of "Julius Caesar", directed by a young Orson Welles.

Director:

Richard Linklater

Writers:

Robert Kaplow (based on the novel by), Holly Gent (screenplay by) (as Holly Gent Palmo) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An ensemble piece examining the health risks involved in the fast food industry and its environmental and social consequences as well.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Greg Kinnear, Bruce Willis, Catalina Sandino Moreno
Tape (2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Three old high school friends meet in a Michigan motel room to dissect painful memories from their past.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, Uma Thurman
SubUrbia (1996)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A group of suburban teenagers try to support each other through the difficult task of becoming adults.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Giovanni Ribisi, Steve Zahn, Jayce Bartok
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A grizzled little league coach tries to turn his team of misfits into champs.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Greg Kinnear, Marcia Gay Harden
Bernie (2011)
Biography | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In small-town Texas, an affable mortician strikes up a friendship with a wealthy widow, though when she starts to become controlling, he goes to great lengths to separate himself from her grasp.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey
Slacker (1990)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A day in the life of Austin, Texas as the camera roams from place to place and provides a brief look at the overeducated, the social misfits, the outcasts and the oddballs.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Richard Linklater, Rudy Basquez, Jean Caffeine
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A nameless young character goes into travels to the country, meeting some acquaintances and strangers as well, having banal conversations, dedicating his existence into daily mundane ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Richard Linklater, James Goodwin, Dan Kratochvil
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The story of the Newton gang, the most successful bank robbers in history, owing to their good planning and minimal violence.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Ethan Hawke, Skeet Ulrich
Documentary | Biography | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A profile of University of Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido, the winningest coach in NCAA history.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Cathy Clark, Roger Clemens, Augie Garrido
Animation | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An undercover cop in a not-too-distant future becomes involved with a dangerous new drug and begins to lose his own identity as a result.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr.
Up to Speed (TV Series 2012)
Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Follows tour guide, historian and flâneur Timothy 'Speed' Levitch as he visits the monumentally ignored monuments of America's cities, from the shoe gardens of San Francisco to the luckiest subway grate in New York City.

Stars: Timothy 'Speed' Levitch, John C. McDonnell, Jeff Doucette
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian McKay ... Orson Welles
Zac Efron ... Richard Samuels
Zoe Kazan ... Gretta Adler
Megan Maczko ... Evelyn Allen
Simon Lee Phillips ... Walter Ash
Patrick Kennedy ... Grover Burgess
Shane James Bordas Shane James Bordas ... Conspirator
Alessandro Giuggioli ... Conspirator
Harry Macqueen ... Conspirator
Rhodri Orders Rhodri Orders ... Conspirator
James Tupper ... Joseph Cotten
Thomas Arnold Thomas Arnold ... George Duthie
Aidan McArdle ... Martin Gabel
Simon Nehan Simon Nehan ... Joe Holland
Claire Danes ... Sonja Jones
Edit

Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you want to discover life...learn from the master See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual references and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK | Isle Of Man | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Me & Orson See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,638, 29 November 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,186,957, 21 February 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Christian McKay. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Mewling: 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Gilson Lavis is listed as "Drumer" instead of "Drummer". See more »

Connections

Featured in Live from Studio Five: Episode #1.48 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Let's Do It
Written by Cole Porter
(C) 1928 (Renewed) WB Music Corp (ASCAP)
Performed by Bunny Berigan & His Orchestra
Courtesy of JSP Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Breezy, nostalgic celebration of film and theater and one of the most dynamic figures to impact them
5 September 2008 | by pyrocitorSee all my reviews

The career of Richard Linklater has proved one of the most delightfully eclectic in the film industry, veering between works as diverse as teenage subculture films (Dazed and Confused) to philosophical romances (Before Sunrise) to drug-addled paranoid thrillers (A Scanner Darkly) to mainstream comedies (School of Rock). But even with such a varied body of work, it is difficult to deny Linklater's latest still seeming somewhat of an anomaly: a lighthearted period piece examining the timeless figure of Orson Welles, making his name through a 1930s theater production of Julius Ceasar still seems an odd about face even for such a versatile director. And yet it is somewhat fitting that such a whimsically talented modern director should examine one of cinema's most legendary mavericks as Linklater's latest, Me and Orson Welles is a charming addition to his body of work, a breezy, self- reflexive yet nostalgic celebration of the mediums of performance as experienced alongside one of the most dynamic and influential figures ever to impact them.

The agile script ably captures the conflicting clashes of the behemoth of a personality that was Orson Welles, from the explosive temper tantrums to the slyly manipulative charm to the casual womanizing, painting a vivid (but likely not larger than life) portrait of the man without either romanticizing or demonising him. It is ultimately the presence of the titular character which rescues the film from becoming yet another "cast rehearsing a play" film, as the dynamo of Welles tearing through the film at all the least expected moments creates a sporadic force of havok keeping the film continually off kilter, preventing it from descending into cliché and keeping it consistently interesting as consequence. While the story's lightness of touch does make some of the plot points either overly obvious or unbelievable, a film so unassumingly enjoyable fails to evoke much complaint - whether dabbling in the dramatic or the comedic, Me and Orson Welles remains refreshingly cheerful and earnest, and all the better for it. Completing the package, Linklater's rare tackling of a period piece demonstrates his typically astute ability to capture the feel and flavour of the times, with the earnest ambition of the 1930s well complimented by subtly stylish sets and costumes while simultaneously avoiding beating the audience over the head with more overt details of the time (instead of the potential hackneyed Nazi allusions, Linklater includes merely a brief radio snippet which is quickly cut off, a classy and subtle inclusion).

Undergoing a difficult transition from teenage heartthrob to dramatic lead, Zac Efron gives a surprisingly solid performance as the idealistic young actor swept into the wild world of Welles, convincingly contributing charm, comedy and genuine sympathy to the emotional centerpoint of the film. However, given the title, it isn't difficult to imagine the inevitable highlight of the show, and true enough, as the infamous Welles, British stage actor Christian McKay doesn't so much steal scenes as seize and throttle them, exploding on screen with the same engrossing bluster that only the real Welles himself could conjure up. Blending the conflicting elements of an indisputably difficult character as easily as he nails the trademark voice and appearance, McKay's Welles alternates between devilish charmer and explosive force to be feared, shaking up the film with similar vigour and nuanced genius - one of the most impressive cinematic debuts in recent memory. Claire Danes is also on top form as a good hearted but endlessly ambitious member of Welles' company, and Ben Chaplin and James Tupper are endearing presences as eccentric members of Welles' calamitous company.

As unconventional a project as it may be, Me and Orson Welles remains one of the most unashamedly lighthearted and enjoyable forays into nostalgia in many a year, breezily blending the serious with the silly while never skimping on historical fact. The addition of McKay's brilliantly combustive Welles make the theatrical rehearsal sequences a joy to behold instead of drearily formulaic, making Linklater's latest film a charm to behold for even the most cynical of audiences.

-8/10


88 of 102 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 73 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed