Friday 1st October, 2010

Gerringong Pics & Flicks Inc. present

Me & Orson Welles

[Rated PG]

Tickets go on sale at Gerringong Town Hall at 7.30pm with the film starting
at 8.00pm. After the film Gerringong Pics and Flicks world famous Tea,
Coffee and Cakes will be available, providing a great chance to discuss the
film or anything else you like in a relaxed social atmosphere.

Review by Margaret Pomeranz

After Tim Robbins' 1999 CRADLE WILL ROCK we return once more to the Mercury Theatre in New York founded by Orson Welles in 1937. And it's in that year that ME AND ORSON WELLES is set, just as Welles - played by CHRISTIAN McKAY - is putting the final touches to his production of JULIUS CAESAR. Seventeen year old high school student Richard Samuels - AC EFRON lucks into the role of Lucius. Richard has a lot to learn and Welles' assistant Sonja - CLAIRE DANES - is a mine of information...

It's a new world for Richard, backstage with other actors like the libidinous Joseph Cotten - JAMES TUPPER - and uptight George Coulouris - BEN CHAPLIN - and with an increasingly harried manager, John Houseman - EDDIE MARSAN - but it's Welles who is the one who opens Richard's eyes the widest...

This completely delightful film has at its core a mesmerizing performance from CHRISTIAN McKAY as Welles, he not only looks incredibly like Welles', he captures the man's knowing capricious arrogance deliciously. The film has been cleverly adapted from a novel by high school English teacher Richard Kaplow by filmmaker Richard Linklater and there is wry affection for Welles' world and for Welles' himself in the work. There is a subplot that frames the film concerning a relationship between Richard and an aspiring writer played by Zoe Kazan that is also sweet.

This coming-of-age story, compressed into one week of Richard's life, is an exhilarating ride, a witty, fascinating insight into one of the towering talents of last century, the talent that propelled him, the talent that surrounded him. It's one of the best experiences you'll have of the theatre in film.
Further comments


DAVID: Well, I'm fascinated by this period, of course, and this material. Orson Welles was such a giant figure of cinema and of theatre and of radio, as well.

MARGARET: And it's so precocious, because he's 22 in this film.

DAVID: I know. Yes. Yes. And Christian McKay gives a wonderful impersonation of Welles. I think you couldn't find better. The other one I thought they got spot on was Joseph Cotton. I thought George Coulouris, the actor who played George Coulouris, was nothing like, at all, George Coulouris but...

MARGARET: Well, they've just got to encapture, though, the reality of the character, really.

DAVID: He got the character, I think. Yes. Yes. And John Houseman wasn't so - Eddie Marsan's John Houseman...but, look, I found this totally fascinating. I really enjoyed these insights into Welles. I loved scenes like the trip to the radio station in the middle of all of this because he has to do his Shadow radio show.

MARGARET: Isn't that beautiful. It's so funny.

DAVID: So it is totally, totally fascinating and...

MARGARET: Well, I believe that this was so researched, , with photos from the time.

DAVID: Yes. Absolutely, yes.

MARGARET: ...and with people who were there at the time, it's as accurate as you can get.

DAVID: Yes. Yes. They've got everything as close as they could.

MARGARET: I loved this film. I really just loved it. I'm giving it four and a half stars.

DAVID: I liked it a lot. I'm giving it four.


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