Sunday, August 23, 2015

The End of the Tour - Movie Review

The End of the Tour (R) 106 mins B+
On the edge of panic

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Segel, Joan Cusack, Anna Chlumsky, Mamie Gummer, Ron Livingston

David Foster Wallace published Infinite Jest in 1996. The 1,000+ page novel catapulted the intensely private writer into "celebrity author" territory- a label he was never comfortable with. Certain friends and family who were closest to Wallace have protested this film. A film that sensitively portrays DFW as one of those "misunderstood genius" types, and has nothing but the best of intentions. But, from what I read, the whole thing isn't very Wallace-like. Meaning, if he were alive he would hate it. Nevertheless, it's a good writerly film about writerly things.

The End of the Tour details the last days of Wallace's Infinite Jest book tour where he is joined/interviewed by Rolling Stone reporter, David Lipsky. The film is very talky, but the hook for all you non-writer types is the delicate dance of one person wanting what another person has - and what that one person will do to get it. Lipsky's time with Wallace never made it to the pages of Rolling Stone magazine. However, it did become a book called, Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, published in April of 2010. The book is Lipsky's account of the five days he spent with Wallace in 1996. It is also the basis of this film.

Jason Segel as DFW is his most seminal work to date. Jesse Eisenberg as David Lipsky is also very well played, but I suspect will be criminally overlooked. The End of the Tour is directed by James Ponsoldt. Ponsoldt also directed one of my favorite films of 2013, The Spectacular Now.

No comments: