Me and Orson Welles

Year: 2008
Production Co: CinemaNX
Director: Richard Linklater
Producer: Richard Linklater
Writer: Holly Gent Palmp/Vince Palmo
Cast: Zac Efron, Claire Danes, Christian McKay, Ben Chaplin

A good-looking young man (Efron, in one of his new style grown-up roles) in 1930s New York comes across a theatre troupe putting on a production of Julius Caeser at the behest of its charismatic leader, radio actor Orson Welles (McKay).

So beings one of the most pleasurable journeys into fictionalised history you'll see in ages if you like depictions of real people on screen as much as I do.

Then hero falls in with them and Welles' slapdash approach to running the company sees him given a role. It becomes his second home and he falls in love with working for such a magnetic but infuriating personality like Welles is supposed to have been, just like everyone else around him.

He also falls in love with the pretty office manager (Danes), but for me the best bits were about Welles himself. Played with plucky verve and simmering anger by Christian McKay, he's a mesmerising presence and everything else in the show (and the movie) is like a little planet orbiting a giant sun.

With fantastic acting and great sets it's a departure for Richard Linklater, better known for Generation X slacker comedy and romance, but it shows an exciting new breadth for the director.

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