Me & Orson Welles
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Me & Orson Welles

Director: Richard Linklater

Cast: Richard Linklater, Zac Efron, Claire Danes, Christian McKay

     
 
High-school student Richard (Zac Efron) dreams of a life on the stage, so he takes trips into Manhattan and, on one of these occasions -- thanks to his drum- and ukulele-playing skills -- manages to BS his way into the cast of Orson Welles' (Christian McKay) newest production.

Overview

High-school student Richard (Zac Efron) dreams of a life on the stage, so he takes trips into Manhattan and, on one of these occasions -- thanks to his drum- and ukulele-playing skills -- manages to BS his way into the cast of Orson Welles' (Christian McKay) newest production. The impressionable kid immediately gets swept up into this exciting new world. As he learns from his brilliant, mercurial new mentor, Richard attempts to win the affections of Sonja Jones (Claire Danes), an ambitious secretary at the theater who has designs on meeting David O. Selznick. Young Richard also befriends fellow actors Joseph Cotten (James Tupper) and Norman Lloyd (Leo Bill), leading to a wager among the trio of men over who will be the first of the three to seduce the heretofore unattainable Sonja. What Richard doesn't expect is that he will have to compete not with them, but with Welles himself for her attention.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Orson Welles' 1937 staging of Julius Caesar for his newly founded Mercury Theatre is widely regarded as one of the most audacious, memorable, and exciting plays ever performed in America. Richard Linklater's Me & Orson Welles, puts the viewer in the middle of the hectic week leading up to the ambitious show's opening. High-school student Richard (Zac Efron) dreams of a life on the stage, so he takes trips into Manhattan and, on one of these occasions -- thanks to his drum- and ukulele-playing skills -- manages to BS his way into the cast of Welles' newest production. The impressionable kid immediately becomes swept up into this exciting new world. As he learns from his brilliant, mercurial new mentor, Richard attempts to win the affections of Sonja Jones (Claire Danes), an ambitious secretary at the theater who has designs on meeting David O. Selznick. Young Richard also befriends fellow actors Joseph Cotten (James Tupper) and Norman Lloyd (Leo Bill), leading to a wager among the trio of men over who will be the first of the three to seduce the heretofore unattainable Sonja. What Richard doesn't expect is that he will have to compete not with them, but with Welles himself for her attention. Linklater's movie is a handsomely mounted period piece/coming-of-age tale -- sort of a Dazed and Confused for theater geeks. Richard learns bittersweet truths about sex, love, friendship, and Shakespeare -- but what makes it something of a must-see is Christian McKay's riveting performance as the 22-year-old Orson Welles. At this stage, Welles was the enfant terrible of the theatrical world -- a kid genius who would deceive, browbeat, cajole, charm, and manipulate everyone around him in order to bring his vision to life. McKay not only gets all of the physical aspects of Welles down -- the sly smile, the mischievous, twinkling glint in the eye, the jaunty gait -- but he captures the monumental grandiosity of Welles' unmistakable voice. He nails Welles' ability to shift from seductive, velvety smooth tones to a commanding, bestial roar in a heartbeat. Let's be clear -- this is not just an impersonation, it's a masterful piece of acting because the role demands a full-blooded performance, not a simple evocation of our collective memories of the man. A sequence where he hijacks a live radio play gives us insight into how quickly he could think on his feet, as well as how his gargantuan ego made him both a living legend and an impossible person to deal with. For those familiar with Welles, you'll giggle during the first half of the movie whenever he opens his mouth because you can't believe what you're seeing and hearing, but during the second half you'll simply accept that you're looking at Welles in all his complicated glory. McKay steals the film, in a performance Welles himself would have adored.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/13/2011
UPC:
0883929202638
Original Release:
2009
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:54:00
Sales rank:
7,278

Special Features

The Making of Me And Orson Welles; The Real Orson Welles; The Gate Q & A; The Mercury's Caesar; Deleted Scenes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Zac Efron Richad Samuels (Lucius)
Claire Danes Sonja Jones
Christian McKay Orson Welles (Brutus)
Zoe Kazan Gretta Adler
James Tupper Joseph Cotten (Publius)
Leo Bill Norman Lloyd (Cinna the Poet)
Eddie Marsan John Houseman
Ben Chaplin George Coulouris (Mark Antony)
Al Weaver Sam Leve
Kelly Reilly Mureil Brassler (Portia)
Iain McKee Vakhtangov
Simon Lee Philips Walter Ash
Imogen Poots Lorelei Lathrop
Aidan McArdle Martin Gabel (Cassius)
Simon Nehan Joe Holland (Julius Caesar)
Patrick Kennedy Grover Burgess (Ligarius)
Janie Dee Mrs. Samuels
Marlene Sidaway Grandmother Samuels
Garick Hagon Dr. Mewling
Megan Maczko Evelyn Allen (Calpurnia)
Aaron Brown Longchamps Kid #1
Travis Oliver John Hoyt (Decius)
Nathan Osgood Radio Announcer
Robert Wilfort Radio Director
Michael Brandon Les Tremayne
Saskia Reeves Barbara Luddy
Mike McEvoy I.L. Epstein
Thomas Arnold George Duthie (Artemidorus)
Jo McInnes Jeannie Rosenthal
Daniel Tuite William Mowry (Flavius)
Emily Allen Virginia Welles
John Young Longchamps Kid #2
Eddi Reader Singer
Jools Holland Band Leader
Steve Parry Mercury Trumpet Player
Jay Irving Mercury Percussion Player
David Garbutt Mercury French Horn Player

Technical Credits
Richard Linklater Director,Producer
Sandra Adair Editor
Ann Carli Producer
Steve Christian Executive Producer
David Doran Art Director
Laurence Dorman Production Designer
Nic Ede Costumes/Costume Designer
Andrew Fingret Co-producer
Sara Greene Associate Producer
Fae Hammond Makeup
Ed Hart Executive Producer
Bruce Lunsford Executive Producer
Marc Marot Musical Direction/Supervision
Michael McEvoy Score Composer
Colin Nicolson Sound Mixer
Steve Norris Executive Producer
Vince Palmo Co-producer,Screenwriter
Holly Gent Palmo Co-producer,Screenwriter
Jessica Parker Associate Producer
Matthew Penry-Davey Asst. Director
Dick Pope Cinematographer
Stuart Rose Art Director
Marc Samuelson Producer
John Sloss Executive Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Me & Orson Welles
1. Sort of an Actor [5:26]
2. You're Hired [4:17]
3. Sonja With A "J" [6:25]
4. History Being Written [3:20]
5. Needful of Mo'Time [4:18]
6. Quadruple-Space Bet [4:33]
7. Catalogue of Faults [3:44]
8. Touch Of Tarkington [2:59]
9. Radio Improv [4:40]
10. What Are You Offering? [3:47]
11. Bad Luck Thing [5:11]
12. Gretta's Lucky Turn [4:31]
13. Notes And Numbers [6:05]
14. Illicit Retreat [3:21]
15. Preview Matinee [2:49]
16. I Own The Store [3:06]
17. Chimes At Midnight [3:49]
18. Career Over [4:04]
19. What An Operator [2:51]
20. The Knight That Makes Me [4:42]
21. Caesar Triumphant [9:24]
22. You're Fired, Richard [4:05]
23. I Don't Believe in Luck [2:01]
24. Take A Bow [2:49]
25. All Ahead Of Us [4:13]
26. End Credits [6:50]

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