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Me and Orson Welles

Published December 2, 2009 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Freestyle Releasing
Me and Orson WellesMe and Orson Welles
Me and Orson Welles is a coming of age story for pretentious teens, and they deserve their own. And they get the same star as the flighty High School Musical set. Zac Efron comes of age for snobs and jocks alike.

Review: Me and Orson Welles


I do love Zac Efron in ‘30s styles. His best decade is probably the ‘60s in Hairspray but his polished good looks work in a ‘30s coif too.

Anyway, he plays an aspiring actor who gets a gig at Orson Welles’ theater production of Julius Caesar. Just talking shop with Orson Welles is a cool thing to see, and the environment of ‘30s pop culture and Shakespearean analysis requires a little homework for the audience to keep up.

The film creates an interesting world to set the story. Welles is a charismatic tyrant, like any high powered boss you have to work for. It’s a mentorship story, with artistic and intellectual talk. Seeing Welles behind the scenes of a radio show is cool too.



It’s also a “putting on a show” movie with all the things that go wrong before opening night. You just linger with the crew. The political backstage workings of a stage are cool, the theater banter between performers, their intellectual sex metaphors. It’s definitely highbrow, but not boring or alienating.

Even this world has its dating schemes as everyone angles for a shot with the “hot girl.” And yes, there is a “plain one” who’s actually right for him all along. They get into shenanigans at a museum. That’s how gloriously pretentious this movie is. They get up to trouble at a public institution for learning.

You see the spit of theatrical projection and there’s a valuable lesson about the politics you have to learn about Hollywood types. I guess Welles was still a Broadway type at this point but it’s the same lesson. Standing up for yourself is a noble trait. It’s not the right thing to do with an established ego who has the power to help you but only if it suits him.

The only thing is it’s grammatically incorrect. Shouldn’t it be Orson Welles and I?

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Freestyle Releasing
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