Saturday, December 12, 2009

Me And Orsen Welles ***1/2

Based in real theatrical history, ME AND ORSON WELLES is a romantic coming-of-age story about a teenage actor (Zac Efron) who lucks into a role in Julius Caesar as its being re-imagined by a brilliant, impetuous young director named Orson Welles at his newly-founded Mercury Theater in NYC, 1937.

The rollercoaster week leading up to opening night has the charismatic-but-sometimes-crue l Welles (impressive newcomer Christian McKay) staking his career on this risky production while Richard (Zac Efron) mixes with everyone from starlets to stagehands in behind-the-scenes adventures bound to change him.

This is an entertaining ensemble movie. Virtually unknown Christian McKay transformed into Orsen Welles's body and soul. His performance is uncanny. Zac Efron shows he's not just a teen heart throb. He can act. Clair Danes is the ambitious assistant to Welles.

See this movie when it opens.


tony said...

Yes Ive seen some clips & he does look alot like Awesome Orsen. I look forward to seeing it.Thanks for the tip Ren.

Madam Miaow said...

It's unfortunate that the posters for this movie in the London Tube stations bear the big banner headline, "Feel-good movie of the year". The phrase "feel-good" makes me reach for the sick-bag. But I shall persevere and follow your recommendation.

jams o donnell said...

I'll have to see it. Thanks Ren

nanc said...

I hope to never meet up with this man! What a self-absorbed ball of fluff he was. If I recall correctly, he did something with "The Muppets" - perhaps his most redeeming role.

Convenor said...

It would be very kind if you could let your readers know about the December issue of our twice-yearly journal 'CHRISTVS REGNAT':

You are most welcome to link to/follow/blogroll our blog:

Please pray for me!

God bless you!

St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association (Ireland)

Nevin said...

I will wait until it comes to cable... I have a long line of movies to see in my netflix list...

thanks for the heads up.

Frank Partisan said...

Tony: This movie I believe, is the debut of this actor. He has an uncanny Welles resemblance.

Madam Miaow: You'll like it. The ending isn't totally sweet.

Nanc: I doubt you'll meet up with him in this life atleast.

Jams: It's really good.

Convenor: OK

Nevin: It'll be awhile before its on cable. It opened Friday.

Ducky's here said...

Should managed to get swallowed by Cameron's "Avatar".

For me Welles is still more interesting as an actor. The prater (Ferris wheel) scene in The Third Man was largely improvised. Monster piece of acting.

SecondComingOfBast said...

"Coming-of-age"? "Feel good movie of the year"? Think I'll pass. Probably about as realistic a portrayal of Wells's real life as the Max Schreck movie from a few years back was of the Nosferatu actor.

Frank Partisan said...

Ducky: This guy who plays Welles is a remarkable Welles. He looks and talks like Orsen.

Pagan: I liked that Vampire picture.

SecondComingOfBast said...


It was pretty good, but I was kind of disappointed. It could have been better. Hell, I can't even remember the name of it. The guy that played Schreck though was really good.

Another good film about a historical figure, maybe the best I've seen, was Quills, about DeSade. Probably about as accurate as any historical movie about anybody ever put out.

And of course Amadeus.

Ducky's here said...

Yes, I've read that, ren, in fact maybe the only drawback is that he is too good. Keeps too much emphasis on Welles and limits the emphasis on his effect on the actors around him .

Frank Partisan said...

Pagan: It wasn't really biographical. It was historical fiction.

I saw the vampire you're talking about.

Speaking of vampire pix, see Let The Right One In (Swedish 2008). Hollywood wants to make a remake.

Ducky: The Welles character was great. Even Zac Efron did a good job.

SecondComingOfBast said...

I know the Schreck movie wasn't biographical Ren, that's why I said the portrayal of Welles you're talking about was probably as realistic as the portrayal of Schreck in the movie.

I was speaking of historical reality, of course, not Welles's appearance and mannerisms in the current film, which might well be spot on.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Hollywood will probably manage to fuck up Let The Right One In. They'll glossy it up and manage to turn the vampire into a hunky sex symbol, no doubt. I'd rather see the original, with subtitles.

Frank Partisan said...

Pagan: See the original Swedish movie for sure. It came out here, the same time as Twilight. I liked Twilight, but compared to the Swedish movie, it was trite.

Blogger The Red Mantis was in Minneapolis today. I met him live.

John B. said...

Nice to see Claire Danes get some work. I loved her show "My So-Called Life."

Frank Partisan said...

Clair Danes was good in Shopgirl, written and starring Steve Martin.

jams o donnell said...

Quills is definitely well worth seeing.

I agree with you Ren, Let the Rightn one in was excellent. Let's see how Hollywood ballses it up!

Frank Partisan said...

Jams: I liked Quills.

Nobody has faith, that Hollywood will do justice to Let The Right One In.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Think about it, Ren, why should anybody have faith in them to do it justice? Your first clue that they won't is that they are remaking it in the first place. It's bad enough they have to remake King Kong every time somebody sneezes, now they are remaking a movie that's just been put out. Why can't they come up with an original idea of their own every now and then?

But of course, that in itself as a foolish question to ask about a group of people who think they are being daring and provocative by making modern movie versions of old television series. About the most original idea they ever had was casting Will Smith as the lead role the The Wild Wild West, and they managed to fuck that up too.

Every now and then somebody actually thinks outside the box and comes up with something original, and when it works it does well at the box office in part precisely because it is different and original.

Whereupon these idiots turn right around and, of course, make a gazillion different versions of it. Fuck Hollywood.

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