Posts tagged Zac Efron
When as a 17 year old, Richard Samuels (Zac Efron) gets a call up to be in a new 1937 Mercury Theatre production of Julius Caesar he immediately happens upon the massive ego and figure of Orson Welles (Christian McKay) and his crew of actors, stage hands and producers. In the course of the hectic shambles that precedes opening night, Richard gets infatuated with Sonja (Claire Danes) and observes at close range the actor’s world of ego (sometimes fragile), bluff, the lure of the next thing and its brutal impermanence.
To be sure, the ‘Me’ in the title is the star and Welles is relegated to just one of the next lead performers. Whether this is a design flaw will be a matter of taste. Danes is dazzling and immensely charismatic, being flirty but not exploitive. McKay wonderfully channels Orson’s bravado, brilliances and brittleness and Zoe Kazan as Greta, Richard’s off stage friend, is the model of youthful enthusiasm laced with self doubt and an endearing personality. As for Efron, it is rare for a teenage heart throb to develop into a genuine actor but Efron is one such novelty – he is a real actor and will be a star for audiences of all ages for years to come.
This is the third ‘play within a play’ this year (after NINE and I, Don Giovanni) and probably the best. The production is excellent all round. Richard Linklater’s direction is tight, shot in a brown sepia and Holly Gent Palmo’s screenplay (based on a Robert Kaplow novel) is a feature with dialogue that cuts to the essence of the personalities without stereotyping – Welles for all his bravado has his moments of self doubts, genius and cowardice, Richard and Greta have their youthful excesses without marking them juvenile. And who can go wrong with the music of era resonating throughout.
A failure as a biopic of Welles but a simple joy as entertainment.
Kryztoff Rating 4K