Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day Twenty-three - Me and Orson Welles, or "That's Showbusiness, Baby!"

For any creative type there exist movies that bring forth a sort of kinship between the film and the audience that seems to transcend time, setting, and character.

I caught flickers of that feeling when I watched movies like The Words, or Cradle Will Rock, or oddly enough, The Number 27.

In all honesty, it's probably safe to say that about any person and their particular archetype. There are everyman movies and there are type specific films. For Texans, perhaps that film is Friday Night Lights or Varsity Blues. For single moms, perhaps that film is Beaches.

For frat boys? Van Wilder or Old School... or Animal House.

When I sat down to watch Me & Orson Welles, I don't know what I was expecting. Sure, I'd seen a brief preview during the "Behind the Scenes" featurettes at my local multiplex, but it had never come for a theatrical run. And, sure, it had a pretty decent pedigree, seeing as how Richard Linklater was the director... but it also had Zac Efron.

Let's just say that I remained cautious concerning any movie where he was the lead.

Perhaps that was unfair. Granted, his early career had him heavily involved in the High School Musical franchise. While that might make him golden in the eyes of several million formerly pre-teen girls (who have no doubt graduated college at this point), even a decent enough turn in the remake of Hairspray wasn't enough to redeem him in my eyes.

After Me & Orson Welles, though... well... I have to say that I'm looking forward to what he may have to offer in the future.

That's not to say that he wasn't a tiny bit awkward. There were definitely moments where I felt he was too clean cut... too pretty for the role he was trying to portray. Certain weighted pauses or lingering stares did feel out of place, here and there, but overall? I think he did a pretty decent job.

And that's to say nothing about his costars, Claire Danes and Christian McKay. Holy crap did they sell me on their roles... especially the latter.

While Claire did a suburb job representing the charming, yet mercenary, backstage producer that her character was, McKay was tremendous as the suave, demanding, and quite overbearing personality that was the great Orson Welles. There were times when I was looking at him where I really could see McKay up there on the screen in Citizen Kane and not the man himself.  And Kane had nothing to do with this film.


Now, it could have been that Welles was just that dramatic a character... or at least that our image of him calls him such... that McKay's rendition of him hit all the notes that I was expecting? I cannot help but say, "well done, man."

Overall, if you have a passion for film, the stage, or even writing as a singular purpose, there are moments... hell, entire scenes for you in this movie. I would be proud to have this in my collection.

Luckily, for my budget, it's on Netflix.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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