Directed by Richard Linklater • 2009 • United States
Starring Zac Efron, Christian McKay, Claire Danes
Richard Linklater tells the ribald tale of a single week that changed theater, film, and American culture forever—a story of the founding of the Mercury Theatre, seven days of mass marital infidelity, and one teenager’s vault to stardom. In 1937, teenager Richard Samuels (Zac Efron) lucks into a starring role in a production of “Julius Caesar” directed by Orson Welles. Welles’s theater company and career ride on the success of his reimagining of Shakespeare’s classic play, even as the charismatic and sometimes cruel director engages in an extramarital affair with his leading lady. In a stroke of either genius or madness, Welles decides that the production would benefit from extramarital affairs between all his cast and crew. Now, as he pairs his stars and stage hands, young Richard maneuvers to be matched with the ambitious production assistant (Claire Danes) who has caught his eye.