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Aug 19th
10:46 am
A couple new reviews of MAOW  
They had a press screening recently in London and a few reviews are surfacing. I'll add more as/if they come in.

James King Movies

Zefron has hovered around the edges of 'growing up' with his movie choices for a bit now. Hairspray was only a supporting role but it was a smart and cheekily political flick - nice move. This year's 17 Again couldn't quite boast the same attitude but it was pitched definately at a teen, not a tween, audience. That's a big step up for a Disney boy.

Now comes the curveball. Me & Orson Welles will see Zac's hardcore fans watching a film that deals with a 1937 production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar by the legendary actor/director Orson Welles. Hmmmm, it's hardly Keep Your Head In The Game, is it?

Well, yes. But that doesn't stop it being interesting for people who manage to not wet their Wildcats knickers at the sight of Zefron's floppy locks. Or even for those that do and who have a bit of patience.

Setting a fictional coming-of-age tale in the midst of a real event (Welles' Mercury Theatre troupe was groundbreaking) means that there's a lot of facts to get up to speed on before the heartwarming stuff really kicks in but luckily director Richard Linklater knows what he's up to. He is the guy who made coming-of-age classics Before Sunrise and Dazed & Confused after all. Me & Orson Welles is definately a case of slow and steady winning the race.

Sure, Zefron's a bit too earnest and stiff at the moment, no doubt from years of training at the Mouse House. But he's not bad. His naive character of Richard is meant to be a bit like that anyway, a wannabe actor who finds himself in a groundbreaking production after bumping into Welles outside the theatre one day. His poodle-like pursuing of theatre secretary Sonja (the luminescent Claire Danes) is genuinely 'awww, bless him' stuff.

Others are better though, most obviously newbie Christian McKay as Orson Welles, the respected thesp whose ego was as big as his talent. The spot-on New York sets (mainly filmed in the Isle Of Man) and Shakespearian snippets also rock. From the first shot, you're slap bang into another theatrical era.

So be patient and Me & Orson Welles gets there. It reminded me a bit of Mrs Henderson Presents. And whilst that was also hardly contemporary or cool, its casting of (then) teen eye candy Will Young ensured it a bigger take than anyone expected.

So there you go. Zefron is the new Will Young! (You're fired! Ed.)



Picture the scene: us at a preview screening of Me and Orson Welles, sitting right up front ready, willing and more than able to laugh our summer-lite socks off at the acting ’skills’ of one Zac Efron. Not only is he starring in a clever film - by Richard Linklater who did the beyond genius Before Sunset - but he is surrounded by actors of the calibre of Ben Chaplin and Clare Danes. How we were ready to snicker!

But no siree Bob. Nothing funny here. Move on if you’re looking for a laugh. Not only is the film charming enough to have your knickers off in ten minutes (a made-up drama about someone working with actor/director/arsehole Orson Welles), Mr. Efron has his Johnny Depp moment. You know where right before your eyes he is transformed from telly puppet to real life proper actor who’s going to have a long career and then go out with a supermodel before marrying a French singer.

The only fly in the ointment we can see is that Zac’s fan-base of smelly knickered teen tarts will hate it. But then, maybe that was the idea. Oh, and this picture here is from something else altogether. We just thought you might like that instead of chunky knits.

Mood: busybusy
8 8 comments Comment
Shruti: Girl | Bulletproofcalcified on August 19th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
It actually irks me a lot when people underestimate Zac's current fanbase's desire to see him act in different roles. Like that last reviewer: not one of his fans is going to HATE him or this film, even if they don't watch it. Come on now.
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on August 19th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
that is my feeling exactly.

and if the movie is so charming, why would anyone flat out hate it?
Shruti: Miley | 7 Thingscalcified on August 19th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
Also I think any stiffness or over-earnestness in Zac is innate to him; I'm sure he'll grow out of it - he's become less so with time - but that really isn't a Disney thing. See: HSM2. IDK these reviews suck! Not because they do or don't like him, the reviewers are just lame.
Troll St. Troll: MAOWglamour_addict on August 19th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)

"Mr. Efron has his Johnny Depp moment."

nice quote. :)
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on August 19th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
yeah though i definitely was giggling at that whole johnny depp life description.
IceGoddess: heylo there dirty lil secretccmskatechick on August 19th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to see it's being pretty well received, esp his role in the film :)
butterflybee260butterflybee260 on August 19th, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC)

Yay. :)
jessica3311: LCjessica3311 on August 19th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
i love that they give him props for doing Hairspray & 17 Again...and he gets that Richard is suppose to be naive. I love that about him! And YAY Johnny Depp moment :D