Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
Click poster to enlarge
More posters to select

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Zac Efron
Claire Danes
Ben Chaplin
Eddie Marsan
Kelly Reilly
Leo Bill
Imogen Poots
Aidan McArdle
.
Directors
Richard Linklater.
Screenwriters
Holly Gent Palmo
Richard Palmo Jr..
Running Time
114 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Gone Girl
4 Star Empire Rating
Honeymoon
3 Star Empire Rating
Last Impresario, The
3 Star Empire Rating
I Origins
4 Star Empire Rating
Ida
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating

Me And Orson Welles
Zac Efron meets Citizen Kane — that is so whack!


submit to reddit


Plot
A young man (Efron) stumbles his way into the Mercury Theatre, set up by Orson Welles in 1937. There he learns about acting, life and love.


Review
Me And Orson Welles
When Simon Callow set out to write a biography of Orson Welles, he found his subject too big for one volume. Similarly, it’s unlikely there’ll ever be a full biopic because, like Citizen Kane, Harry Lime and Mr. Arkadin, Welles showed many faces to many people over the years. However, a growing library of Welles-themed films exists, and soon it’ll be possible to programme a month-long season covering his life.

Richard Linklater’s film of Robert Kaplow’s novel, which somehow makes the Isle Of Man convincing as the Isle Of Manhattan, sits comfortably between Cradle Will Rock (set just before it), the TV movie The Night That Panicked America (about the 1938 War Of The Worlds broadcast), and RKO 281 (about Citizen Kane). Linklater scores over other Welles films in one crucial area: Christian McKay is the best screen Welles stand-in to date, easily raising the bar set by Angus Macfadyen, Liev Schreiber, Vincent d’Onofrio and Danny Huston. McKay uncannily resembles the young Welles and catches the familiar mannerisms, but more importantly he inhabits the role of a man who was always ‘on’: radiating the charisma that made people stick with him no matter how big a bastard he could be, stopping every so often to improvise lyrical speeches, weaselling out of crises by leaving human wreckage in his wake, clowning like a baby desperate to win over the grown-ups, and pulling great art out of himself like a conjurer producing a rabbit from a hat.

Around Orson Welles, the film weaves a conventional but nicely turned tale about a youth’s first steps in theatre, with Zac Efron creditably turning down his natural star quality to seem like a hesitant beginner and striking sparks off leading ladies Claire Danes and Zoe Kazan. Like Cradle Will Rock, it’s also a careful account of a legendary stage production, a ‘fascist Caesar’ with Mussolini uniforms and Nuremberg lighting. Welles’ Mercury Theatre was packed with big characters, and this is one of Linklater’s large cast films — with heroic work from Ben Chaplin, Leo Bill and Kelly Reilly as real actors (it’s touching that Bill does such a dead-on impersonation of the scarcely well-remembered Norman Lloyd), and more terrific support from Eddie Marsan as long-suffering producer John Houseman.


Verdict
A really satisfying backstage drama, this is an exhilarating tour around a man whose talent was almost as big as his ego.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Me And Orson Welles
Empire Star Rating

Good Pefomances But Not All That.

I was really looking forward to seeing Me And Orson Welles, they didn't have it at my local cinema so I waited for it to come out on dvd which I rented and watched it last night. Teenager Richard (Zac Efron) longs to become a part of the acting buzz so when he's hired by Orson Welles (Christan McKay) to be a part of the latest production of Julius Caesar, he's overjoyed but soon realises that maybe this isn't really thing after all. Meanwhile, he catches the eye of Sonja (Claire Danes) and a you... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 09:48, 25 April 2010 | Report This Post


Good Pefomances But Not All That.

I was really looking forward to seeing Me And Orson Welles, they didn't have it at my local cinema so I waited for it to come out on dvd which I rented and watched it last night. Teenager Richard (Zac Efron) longs to become a part of the acting buzz so when he's hired by Orson Welles (Christan McKay) to be a part of the latest production of Julius Caesar, he's overjoyed but soon realises that maybe this isn't really thing after all. Meanwhile, he catches the eye of Sonja (Claire Danes) and a you... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 09:48, 25 April 2010 | Report This Post


Me and Orson

this film wasnt too bad- great performances all round . Just didnt find the whole Ceasar production very interesting ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 16:18, 08 December 2009 | Report This Post


Me and Orson

this film wasnt too bad- great performances all round . Just didnt find the whole Ceasar production very interesting ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 16:18, 08 December 2009 | Report This Post


Me and Orson Welles

Director: Richard Linklater Screenwriters: Holly Gent Palmo, Vincent Palmo Jr Starring: Zac Efron, Christian McKay, Claire Danes, Ben Chaplin, James Tupper, Eddie Marsan Synopsis In 1937’s New York, teenager Richard Samuels (Efron) is cast in the Mercury Theatre production of Julius Caesar directed by a young Orson Welles (McKay). Review At the very beginning of this year came the release of Danny Boyle's masterpiece Slumdog Millionaire which later won eight Oscars (woo-hoo!).... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by R W at 21:43, 06 December 2009 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's Interstellar Newsstand Cover Has Arrived
Plus a full preview of what you'll find inside our brand new issue

The Future Of Film: British Film Will Thrive (If Tax Breaks Allow)
Or how Harry Potter saved the British film industry, and could again

The Making Of The Lost Pilot: An Oral History
The cast and crew look back at the epic season opener…

Empire's Gone Girl Review
Our official verdict on David Fincher's adaptation of the best-selling novel

The Future Of Film: The Streaming Services Will Be Major Studios
(Or how Hollywood will have to start worrying about Netflix)

The Empire Podcast #129: Liam Neeson Interview
Plus Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Holliday Grainger and Jessica Brown Findlay drop by to talk The Riot Club

The Future Of Film: We'll Be Watching Films In Virtual Reality
Immerse cinema aims to become the must-have experience for the filmgoers of the future

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)