Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Me and Orson Wells Review

I've been waiting for "Me and Orson Welles" to have a U.S. DVD release ever since seeing some clips during the 2010 BAFTA(s) and I can say it did not disappoint. The story is that of Richard Samuels (Zac Efron) a bored high schooler who in the course of a week, meets Orson Welles, is cast in the now famous 1937 Broadway production of Julius Caesar and just as quickly fired. It's a fantastic period piece with a backdrop of the sophisticated New York artistic set. Actually maybe that's not completely accurate. The real backdrop may be the over the top ego and personality of Orson Welles(which appears to rival NYC in size). Christian McKay (who has not one credit on IMDB I recognize) is incredible as Welles. The viewer should dislike him but perhaps like the real life person, he is too charming and funny to truly resent. Claire Danes equally impresses at doing well with a role that could be described as a bit flat. She is the older love (and sex) interest who introduces Richard to the unfortunate landscape of adult relationships. I love Claire Danes mostly because I can still hold onto the sixteen year old iconic mopey Angela Chase  and still appreciate her as a fully evolved adult actress.
The only stumbling point in this movie may be the "me". Zac Efron is a bit of a mystery to me. If he had given himself completely over the dark side of Disney, I am sure I would see him as "that kid" from "those annoying High-School Musical movies". However I genuinely enjoyed him in "17 Again"; so I had to get over that. Here he does the comedy of someone out of their element well but fails to fully convince when he is called upon to do drama. It's a minor complaint though that doesn't detract from the whole...and who knows maybe I will have to eat those  words when I see "Charlie St. Cloud" which is getting some good reviews for Efron.


Jodene said...

It always takes a while for South Africa to get new releases, but this is on the must see list ... Claire Danes is brilliant and the story sounds fantastic.

Mocking Movies said...

I really enjoyed it. The actor who played Orson Welles is pitch perfect and I agree, I can watch Clair Danes anytime.
Hope you enjoy it also when you have a chance to see it.