DVD: Me and Orson Welles (12A)
Friday 16 April 2010
Richard Linklater's very straightforward, refreshingly so, drama revolves around Orson Welles's memorable 1937 Mercury Theatre production of Julius Caesar, set in Mussolini's fascist Italy.
Zac Efron plays Richard, a cocksure 17-year-old chancer who bags himself the part of Lucius after fibbing to Welles about his ukulele-playing skills. The self-possessed but naive high-school student soon falls for Welles's secretary, the fiercely ambitious Sonja (Claire Danes), who craves an audience with Hollywood bigwig David O Selznick.
Linklater's perky tale benefits hugely from the British actor Christian McKay's portrayal of Welles, he convincingly captures the charismatic actor/director's immense ego and conman charm. One minute he flatters Richard with "you're a god-created actor", the next he's berating him for being "a talentless little shit." It also benefits from Linklater's broad brush-strokes; the film doesn't delve too deeply, Citizen-Kane like, into the reasons for Welles's megalomania and talent. He just has it. No doubt there will be a suitably epic mini-series that will cover the rise and fall of this goliath of cinema, but this isn't the place for such intensity. Instead, it's the very simple story, adapted from Robert Kaplow's novel, of a teenager being taken in and spat out by a force of nature, and Efron, after his impressive turn in 17 Again, proves an engaging performer.
Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigourfilm
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassing leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories