She suggested PMing for questions but if you want to post the questions in comments it is fine with me, but for any thing spoilerish in either Q or A, please enclose it in a white font tag for highlighting purposes. It is pretty straightforward to do, even if you've never tried this... just copy/paste this into the comment box:
<font color="white">PUT YOUR SPOILERS HERE</font>
And edit in your thoughts. (I'd double-check your success with preview too).
Anyway, without further adieu:
As we've all know, this movie has been hyped up for a long time now. It's been a year since it debuted at Toronto and we're finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. When they initially announced earlier this summer that the film was going to show at the festival in Woodstock, I knew I had to go. This was before we had the good news on national distribution. I wasn't going to give up the opportunity to see this with the festival being a stone's throw away (about 1hr 30min from me).
I got up to the village early on Friday to wander around to try to get the vibe of what was going on, see if I could hear any early buzz, meet some people. I'm glad I did. While I was grabbing dinner at the Landau Grill (I was told to try there, always a great place for food and to run into anyone whose anyone from the festival - I never got the whole story but somehow it *is* connected to Martin Landau) - met a lovely couple who had happened to work the 'festival circuit' in the business and found out a little bit more on how films get chosen for festivals, the bidding process on distribution, etc. (They were also the ones that tipped me off to the MAOW poster for US Distribution not what has been out there, it's being finalized/finished). The festival organizers recommended getting to the 'theater' (it was an old one room schoolhouse they converted to a very small, intimate theater - 10 rows, 100 seats if that) at least 30 minutes before the showing, even if you had tickets. When I got there at 6:30, I was already the 10th person online. Also I was by far leaps and bounds the youngest person online (I really ended up being one of the youngest there, right before the screening started a young woman about my age snuck in). The screening had been sold out since the initial day that ticket sales launched so I knew it was going to be an interesting scene. I was able to get in and snag a 4th row dead center seat. I was like a little kid in a candy store waiting for the movie to start. And once it did, I was just really in awe. I didn't look at my watch once. I was completely immersed in the movie.
After the movie, Linklater was there to do a panel/roundtable with the executive director of the festival, along with the author of the book and one of his executive producers/bffs. They discussed how they came to film on the Isle of Man, how they selected McKay for Orson, Richard’s filmmaking process from optioning the script to filming to distribution, the ‘real’ story behind the inspiration of the character of Richard and Linklater did touch a little bit on Zac – the craziness that followed him to the Isle of Man (he said he never heard such sounds as the 300+ screaming 9-12 year old girls that were constantly waiting after filming for him) & about the selection of Zac for the role (how he met with Zac and how Z loved the script right off from the beginning)
I don't want to give away the whole movie and do a blow by blow since most likely every single one of you will be going out to see this and I really do not want to ruin the experience (and I don't know everyone's opinion on spoilers - if you have specific questions on specific scenes feel free to PM me and I'll do my best to answer them) - but holy.fucking.hell. First thing I tweeted was "no words" - and really, after the film ended and the credits started to roll (which oh my god - I cannot wait to get stills from what they did on that) I was completely blown away. Expectations were met and exceeded, at least for me. I had hoped that it would be a good movie and that everything that's been said thus far would hold true. McKay as Orson was just stunning. It's really some of the best acting I've seen as of late. The way he captures Orson was fantastic. You could see how his theater training was the perfect preface for this film. I think the Oscar committee would be inept if they don't take his role in this movie into consideration.
Now, for what you've all been probably waiting for – what did I think of Zac in the movie. Zac's Richard, it's exactly what we've been waiting with baited breath for. I honestly think this is what the rest of the world needs to see him in to show his true talent. To be able to see what Zac was able to do with a real script and acting with some experienced actors, it was indescribable to see him really flourish on the screen. He had some great chemistry with Claire, his character's emotions ran the full spectrum and he handled them, nailed them with such ease. He was just a real joy to watch on screen (even the old ladies who didn’t know who he was in the movie thought he was ‘lovely’, ‘charming’, ‘such a talented young man’ and my favorite ‘yummy’). Though it was when Zac & Christian had *the* pivotal scenes together, I kind of got slack jawed. To me, it was like that's the point where I could say with conviction and no doubt in my mind; he's arriving as a real actor.
More importantly, I loved this movie for the movie itself. I told a friend of mine afterwards (she enjoys Zac, not as much as we all do) – that if Zac weren’t in this movie, I’d still love the movie just as much. It’s a well-written script and Linklater does a great job with it. Having Zac in it just enhances it that much more. Also – an important note, I went into this movie not having read the book so I’m just basing this off of what I saw in the movie.
C had asked me to talk a little bit about how the tweens/teens will appreciate this movie. I think some of the more ‘mature’ of that group, the ones that just aren’t omgomg!squee over the prettiness that is Zac, may like the movie – it’s not super deep to the point where they’ll space out, but they will need to pay close attention to the movie as a whole, not just Zac. There are some points of it that will blatantly go well over their heads (Orson’s modernist depiction of Caesar in comparison with the fascism going on at that time) along with some of the more ‘mature’ concepts along with some of the language & gestures that they have Zac/Richard partaking in. There’s no ‘official’ rating for the movie from MPAA as of yet, but after watching, I’m guessing it will be a PG-13 just because of some of the language & concepts in the movie. This movie was most definitely made with them in mind. I think some will enjoy it, while others will complain that this isn’t ‘Zac as they know him’ from previous roles. The company handling distribution and marketing may try to take aim at this group, but I hope they don’t concentrate all their efforts at that (I’ll refrain from getting on my ‘professional’ PR/marketing soapbox here) – and keep a more well balanced approach to things.
Hope this is what you guys were looking for! I cannot wait to see it again in Novmeber :)