Monday, July 5, 2010

Me and Orson Wells

Director: Richard Linklater (Fast Food Nation)

Starring: Christian McKay; Zac Elfron (High School Musical ), Claire Danes.

Rather a sterile but accurate bio-flick with one redeeming feature, Christian McKay performance as Orson Wells is impressive. Based on a book by Robert Kaplow the narrative follows the adventures of aspiring 17 year old actor, Richard Samuels (played by Zac Elfron). His forwardness gets him an invite to join the Mercury Theatre production of Julius Caesar in 1937. There he has a (non paying) small part and comes under the Svengali control of Orson Wells as he learns his craft with Joseph Cotten (James Tupper) and producer John Houseman (the great Eddie Marsan), during the Wellsian chaos that prevails behind the curtains. The most remarkable aspect of the movie is in the glimpses we are privy to i.e.the opening-night performance of Julius Caesar.

The sub plot involves a romantic association with the ambitious office manager, played by Sonja Jones Claire Danes.

The irony is not lost with the casting of McKay and Elfron. Both young talents and like the parts they play, so different.

A must for all Wells fans.

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