That article is a pretty good comprehensive review, nextren. It echoes excellent ones from The Village Voice and Rolling Stone.
Of course, Chris Welles Feder is not so happy with ME AND ORSON WELLES, as she tells the Newsweek essayist. She expresses in the article what she told us here, and in national interviews, that she feels her father is misrepresented in the picture. Another reviewer, this one from New Jersey, also makes charges of misrepresentation:
"The story of the impressionable young boy who meets a great and powerful man is an old one. But what’s the filmmaker to do," Stephen Whitty of the Star Ledger asks, "when the mentor is a much more interesting character than the protégé?" He goes on to justly commend Christian McKay's performance as Welles but castigate things like the erroneously squeaky clean New Jersey and New York City pictured in a 1937 America, still deep in the Depression. But he goes on to reserve his most scathing criticism for an aspect of the film which only vaguely registered with me when I first saw it over a month ago. Norman LLoyd is still alive and working at Age 95, for Whitty goes on:
"The real Norman Lloyd is a devoted husband and an erudite man (I interviewed him two years ago and, although 93 then, he was still going strong). But the movie’s Norman Lloyd — he’s called that by name — is a sloppy vulgarian who looks like a Stooge, sounds like a failed Borscht Belt comedian and chases skirts like an amorous terrier.
"I hope the real Lloyd — who was actually a newlywed in 1937 — sues, not just for his own sake, but to slow down this trend. I’m getting very weary of filmmakers making up conversations, inventing motives and creating events so that their "based on a real story" movie can get to "the real truth." Because, actually, there’s only one real truth."
I can not go so far as Mr. Whitty. [Christian McKay, for instance, I'm sure, would defend the performance of fellow student at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Leo Bill, who plays Lloyd, on the basis of artistic license.] And as I noted elsewhere (no one in the Wellesnet Brass came forward to contradict my observation), slander laws are pretty well dead in America, along with certain other legal remedies, as they were not, ironically, in 1937.
You may read Mr. Whitty's review in its entirety here: http://www.nj.com/entertainment/tv/inde ... _revi.html
[Have you ever considered a number of figures and places coincidentally gathered around ME AND ORSON WELLES are attached to New Jersey: Novelist Robert Kaplan, the novel's hero Richard Samuels; later to be famous, perhaps, like Grover's Mill, little green Martians and Todd Baesen?]
Anyway, when I saw ME AND ORSON WELLES a month ago, I did not want to go so far here as Mr. Whitty does in his initial remarks, nor in my review of the film, which I published over a week ago. Then, at its San Francisco Premiere on Tuesday evening, December 2, 2009, when I saw ME AND ORSON WELLES a second time (both occasions, courtesy of Karen Larsen Associates and our Lawrence French), I was not only confirmed in my recognition of Christian McKay's splendid performance as Welles, but I liked the picture more, over all. Whether or not, the print was better or the projection and sound were improved, I cannot say; I just enjoyed the picture to a greater degree. However, my main judgment of the film remains, that it is a pleasant, rather lightweight adaptation of a young adult novel, which misses opportunities to present an important, relevant comment both on Welles' monumental Anti-Fascist Julius Caesar and our situation in America today. [Orson Welles would have done no less!] My initial review for Epinions, posted on November 21, 2009, which I'm going to put up, revised slightly, in The Red Room, may be found as written at the following URL: http://www1.epinions.com/review/Me_and_ ... 2513627780
I must say that Richard Linklater and Christian McKay fielded my questions and those by others beautifully at the Q & A after the showing. Director Linklater replied to my question on the film's purpose that basically, though recognizing the importance of the approach of World War II, and the remaining degradation of the Depression, in the mounting of Welles' Caesar: Death of a Dictator, he had just wanted to follow the basic romance tale of the novel, and the presentation of a group of talented people embarking on great careers. He opined that he thought people back then, as now, saw events of the Greater World as separate from their everyday lives and futures. I wanted to respond, his 1937 is not one I remember (but he may be on the mark about today). I did tell him that I liked ME AND ORSON WELLES better on second viewing than first time through, but that I still had misgivings about the opportunities missed.
Going out of the theater, both men were very generous in greeting and shaking hands.
Our Own Larry French (who had interviewed them earlier in the evening -- watch for a transcript soon) introduced me to the strikingly smart and beauteous Emily Allen McKay. [She plays in the picture, barely credited, a quite pregnant (with Chris Welles) Virginia Nicolson Welles.] She accepted a gift from me of Nellie McKay's NORMAL AS BLUEBERRY PIE CD. [I'd given Chris Feder a copy of it, too, when she was here.] Emily McKay put the CD together with the doggy bag of "our supper with Larry." McKay himself was interested in Nellie McKay's career ("One Good McCay Deserves Another," as I put it on the envelop) after I pointed out that Mom Robin Pappas had attended RADA, as did he, that Nellie was writing for the stage, and had played Polly Peachum opposite (fellow Scot) Alan Cumming in the Broadway revival of The Three Penny Opera, two years ago.
Later, after Larry French and Todd Baesen left the scene, my son Guy and I had retired to The Holding Company, a bar adjacent to the Embarcadero One Theater, for a dram of Johnny Walker Black Label; when after ten minutes or so, not entirely unsuspected in the back of my mind, in sailed McKay and Linklater with their ladies, followed by Karen Larsen's PR entourage. McKay gave me a regimental salute, and though Guy and myself did not push into the groups, we exchanged smiles with Karen Larsen, McKay and his graciously beautiful wife, Emily Allen. Their party actually split up into three parts: Ms. Larsen and her people sitting quite close to us near the bar; Linklater and his friend on the far side of the room; McKay and his wife tucked away around a corner, out of sight. A couple of times, Emily McKay came past us to carry back drinks from the bar. Guy and I had a second round, and when it reached the apparently appointed time to leave of 11 p.m. sharp, the McKays came out from behind the partition and over to us.
McKay thanked me for my gift, shook my hand yet again, inquired about the origins of Nellie McKay, and discoursed on the role of Wellesnet in his preparation for playing Orson Welles. When I informed him that I was Glenn Anders there, he erupted with a smile: "You ARE a contentious figure!" He tore open his jacket in a gesture and shook my hand a third time, warmly and vigorously. Emily Allen McKay gave my arm a squeeze and indicated that she had Nellie's CD safely in her keep.
Guy, "another Scot," as he told McKay, could not have been happier, all around.
And then, they were all off to their beddy-byes, having to be up early to make a plane.
Another triumphant Wellesnet evening!
And in that regard, I should note, speaking of reviews and potential awards, a few hours ago, The National Board of Review declared ME AND ORSON WELLES one of The Ten Best Independent Pictures of 2009! Newspapers and Internet sites will be quoting in advertising blurbs for the picture all over the country: "Easily One of the Ten Best Pictures of the Year!" -- Lawrence French, Wellesnet.com