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Review: Me and Orson Welles

Richard Linklater casts a spell
By PETER KEOUGH  |  December 9, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars

But the shenanigans of this snootier Andy Hardy comedy recede before what Welles has wrought on the stage. Linklater is at his best re-creating this process, summoning the exuberance and the evanescence of a perfect theatrical moment. When the mob sweeps away the hapless Cinna the Poet (Norman Lloyd as played by Leo Bill), in a dazzling illusion of shadow and stagecraft, the film audience gasps along with the audience in the film. The assassination of Caesar, reproduced for the umpteenth time over the centuries, registers genuine shock and horror. Like his voice (a tossed-away bit of extemporization in a radio play alone is worth the price of admission), the ego of Welles as invoked by McKay more than fills an auditorium, carrying all before it to a transcendent triumph. Then the silence falls and the emptiness and the real tragedy begin.

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