I love Orson Welles – the director, the actor, the radio voice, the inimitable presence – and what I love most about Orson Welles and Me is the loving recreation of Welles: as artist, as ego, as larger-than-life self-creation. I review the film for The Stranger.
Me and Orson Welles is your classic coming-of-age-story/high-school-theater- geek-wet-dream: A precocious teenager is picked out of the crowd by his stage hero, cast in a maverick play, and ushered into manhood by an enchanting older woman. It’s the details that make it so much fun: the artist is young Orson Welles (a mesmerizing Christian McKay), the enfant terrible of the New York stage in 1937, and the play is his modern-dress version of Julius Caesar (in Mussolini Blackshirt costumes).
Postscript: The review was cut for space; my original last line reads as follows: “It’s that ride that director Richard Linklater brings to life in a rousing production filled with wondrous detail, marvelous tidbits of Wellesian history and myth and great moments of theatrical magic.”