A young student (Zac Efron) finds love in the theater after being cast in a production of Julius Caesar directed by Orson Welles (Christian McKay) in this 1930s-era romance directed by Richard Linklater.
I only watched the film to see McKay's personification of Orson Welles and I was pleasantly surprised by the acting of him, Efron, and several of the background characters. While I disagree with Linklater's approach to the subject, I think he did a great job of portraying the time period and the authenticity of the characters.
A delightful trifle. McKay performs a wonderful impersonation of Welles, and Efron is charming as the un-neurotic young hipster who gets the part and gets, for a time at least, the girl. At first, this seemed like odd material for Linklater, but it combines the let's-put-on-a-show exuberance of School Of Rock with the carefree late-adolescent shiftlessness of Dazed And Confused.
A thoroughly enjoyable film with more depth than is immediately apparent. Zac Efron continues to make smart choices in breaking away from the "Disney Channel curse" - he keeps stretching but not so far and so fast as to alienate his fans. Christian McKay is uncanny as Welles (I happened to have seen "The Third Man" about a week before "Me and Orson Wells" so the young Welles was fresh in my mind).
Neat recreation of the Mercury theater's heydays, it's slightly overlong but it does deliver to a point. As good as Christian McKay is, though, I must note his Welles seemed to lack the bigger-than-life quality of originale. A good film, not an unforgettable one.
A cute, well turned adaptation; not earth shattering in it's brilliance and sometimes a bit overwritten and explanatory, but the striking casting of Efron, Danes and McKay generates the energi needed. And the music is wonderful. A hipper (and far better!) companion to Aunts' Comedy of the Year 2006, "Mrs. Henderson Presents".
Richard Linklater's attempt to make something akin to a Woody Allen film falls oh so flat. No fault of the actors and really the story of Welles' launching of "Caesar" on 41st should have gave birth to a greater story than this. Christian McKay is indeed a marvel as Welles with ok characterizations by young Efron and Danes. Was nice to see Ben Chaplin with a meaty part again as well. Overall a disappointment.