There was a screening in NY today:
This one was from London:
JDBRecords Blog (NY)
In 1937 at the then newly-founded Mercury Theater (now gone), Orson Welles staged a production of Julius Caesar. The making-of-the play is dramatized in Richard Linklater's lovely new film. Even though the story is primarily a coming-of-age tale, its rooted in interesting theatrical history.
Through sheer luck and charisma, young Richard (the charming Zac Efron who holds his own) lands the role of Lucius. Throughout rehearsals, he watches the work of future stars such as Joseph Cotten and begins to fall in love with Welles's assistant (Claire Danes), a seemingly warm but savvy Vassar grad, who has bigger dreams of her own.
The film primarily belongs to newcomer Christan McKay who portrayed Welles once before on stage in "Rosebud: The Lives of Orson Welles." He does indeed have the mannerisms and speech down pat, but what McKay does in this film is enigmatic, alluring, and often electric, giving the story the shot of gravitas it sometimes lacks. His Welles is temperamental and selfish, but never the villain, a complicated genius of his time.
Like the folded up papers Welles leaves for his cast on opening night, Linklater offers up this little love note. Some Welles aficionados may be disappointed that this film is more Shakespeare in Love, less Magnificent Ambersons, but it seems a wise decision that Linklater does not pay tribute through imitation. In fact, the straightforward approach makes the risk and the mastery of Welles's Caesar seem greater; the re-imagined scenes of the stark production is one of the film's highlights. Richard Linklater, whose resume is all over the map, often deals with the restless and the lovably aimless (from Dazed & Confused to Before Sunrise and Sunset), because of this, his films tend to sag a little, as this one does. I was quite happy, however, to be lost in this little gem.
And tomorrow ccmskatechick will be seeing it at Woodstock :D and will report back to us later.
ETA: I hope more HQ stills get released soon so I can have some variety of pics in these posts, lol.
ETA2: Another mini-review popped up this morning...
by Lee Hartgrave
BEST NEW MOVIE FIND has to be “Me and Orson Welles.” Richard Linklater’s coming of age feature is set in 1937 and stars teen throb Zac Efron who plays a young aspiring actor. By a fluke he lands a small role at Orson Welles Mercury Theatre Company. Welles is launching a groundbreaking version of Julius Caesar. Welles has a huge-ego and he crushes new and old actors like bugs that just get in his way. He may be brilliant, but not a very nice man. …It is a beautifully crafted and disturbing epic tale of an unforgiving incident, an unlikely love and friendship that fades away. Julius Caesar may be on the stage – but two generations of characters drift apart. LOOK FOR THE OPENING – IT’S A SPELLBINDER OF BREATHTAKING BEAUTY! RATING: FOUR BOXES OF POPCORN (highest rating)