Richard Linklater’s film is one I was unable to get tix for at TIFF ‘ 08 (World Premiere). It had a limited release last November, and did a shade over a million bucks in box office. That’s the state of films with quirky titles and little marketing appeal.Glad I finally got a chance to see it. Me & Orson Welles is a sweet, innocent film about…possibilites. About facing up to the prevalent cynicism, and about the love for “the arts” – be it acting, music or writing.
Linklater is responsible for some very good films including two very original rotoscope movies: Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly (a terrific film from a Phillip K. Dick novel). Here, Richard Samuels (Zac Efron) takes a trip to New York where he meets a girl who is possibly his soul mate – but in the interim he also meets Orson Welles and in impromptu fashion, Welles offers him a small part in the 1937 production of “Julius Caesar” at the Mercury theater.
The part of Orson Welles is played by Christian McKay in bravura fashion. Nothing less would do, of course, for the bigger than life Welles. And Claire Danes is perfect as the ambitious assistant to Welles, who has made her peace with how to get ahead in the biz.