Monday, December 7, 2009


Me and Orson Welles

Me and Orson Welles Perhaps the most brilliant films by writer/director Richard Linklater are "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset" (also "Waking Life"). Who can forget those fascinating conversations on quiet streets in Europe? He seems have a unique ability to ignite the sparks between a couple on the big screen. In his latest film, "Me and Orson Welles" (UK/USA 2008 | 114 min.), he leaves traces of similar magical moments whenever two protagonists are alone on the big screen. However, this new charming period-drama is dominated by the marvelous performance from a British pianist-turn-actor Christian McKay, playing the legendary Orsen Welles.

Based on Robert Kaplow's novel, the film is a fictional recount of the behind the stage story about Orsen Welles's production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar at Mercury Theatre in NYC, 1937.

Seventeen-year-old Richard Samuels (Zac Efron) lands a role in Orsor Welles's (Christian McKay) theater production Caesar and falls for Orson's ambitious assistant Sonja Jones (Claire Danes). During the short period of preparation for the play's opening, he learns more about show business, love, and life than he ever hopes.

Although the story is told from the eyes of a teenager, the exuberant, charismatic, extremely talented, and sometimes arrogant Orson Welles unquestionably draws all the spotlights. The relatively little known Christian McKay deserves an Oscar nomination for his fantastic portrait of this colorful persona.

Christian McKay as Orson Welles in ME AND ORSON WELLES. Photo: Liam Daniel.

This is an utterly entertaining film with glorious art design, terrific ensemble cast, and nostalgic music.

"Me and Orson Welles" opens on Friday, December 11, 2009 at Bay Area theaters.

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