Me and Orson Welles

Me and Orson Welles

Me and Orson Welles (2008). Directed by Richard Linklater.

My favourite film of the festival this year. I can’t wait to watch it again. If Christian McKay doesn’t get an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Orson Welles I’ll be surprised. The man looks, sounds and acts like a young Welles.

Me and Orson Welles is a period film set in 1937 New York. Orson Welles (Christian McKay) is at the famous Mercury Theatre rehearsing the first broadway production of a Shakespearean play, Julius Caesar. He needs a young actor to fill a role and hires 17 year-old Richard Samuels (Zac Efron). Richard is drawn to the genius of Orson Welles, befriends Joseph Cotten (James Tupper) and finds time fall in love with production assistant Sonja Jones (Claire Danes).

I never would have pegged Richard Linklater to direct a film like this but he’s done an incredible job of transporting the audience back to 1937. The sets, the dialogue, the costumes, the choice of camera moves and music feel like the Hollywood of old.

Fans of Welles will enjoy a scene where Orson shows Richard a copy of “The Magnificient Ambersons” with his notes. Another scene has Joseph Cotten stepping out of the shadows a la “The Third Man”. I could go on but I don’t want to spoil the fun.

Me and Orson Welles is expected to be released in 2009. Don’t miss it!


Films are rated from 1 to 4 stars.

TIFF’08 - Me and Orson Welles

Posted in 2008 TIFF at 12:45 AM