Me And Orson Welles

Linklater's superb comic drama centres on Welles’ world in the 30s

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  • Uncut film review: ME AND ORSON WELLES
  • Directed by Richard Linklater
  • Starring Christian McKay, Zac Efron, Claire Danes



“I am Orson Welles, and every one of you stands here as a subject to my vision.” So announces the young actor/director to the cast of his famed New York production of Julius Caesar in 1937. But it’s not all about him: among this cast is teenager Richard (an impressive Efron), who within a week will debut on stage, be wooed and dropped by Welles’ mistress (Danes) and learn much about dark genius. He grows up as quickly.

If there are romantic comedy elements to what is one of the eclectic Linklater’s finest films yet, these are outweighed by a stellar character study. Brit newcomer McKay delivers a classy, career-making performance as Welles. Sensitive, narcissistic, bullying, his Orson is a tour de force, raising the game of the rest of the ensemble. A witty script and stylish yet unvarnished period feel also help. When the play has impressed audiences while changing the lives of all those in his circle, Welles booms, four years before Citizen Kane, “How the hell do I top this?”

CHRIS ROBERTS

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