The End of the Tour

A new review from The Movie Snob.

The End of the Tour  (B-).  If you’re looking for a movie that is basically two smart literary-type guys conversing with each other for an hour and a half, then this is the movie for you.  It’s based on a true story: In or about 1996, David Lipsky, a writer for Rolling Stone magazine, interviewed author David Foster Wallace.  At that time, Wallace was achieving some celebrity with the successful publication of his immense novel Infinite Jest, and he agreed to let Lipsky interview him over the last few days of the book tour for that novel.  Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) plays Wallace, and Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) plays Lipsky.  Wallace suffered from depression much of his life, and he committed suicide in 2008, so that dark shadow hovers over the movie.  In Segel’s portrayal, Wallace comes across as an odd character, but fundamentally decent and very serious about wanting to inspire his readers to be decent people too.  Eisenberg turns in a good performance too, but his character (almost) never forgets he is there to do a job, not be a buddy, so it’s hard to like him.  Joan Cusack (School of Rock) pops up as the chirpy Minnesotan who drives the Davids around Minneapolis for that part of the tour.  I thought it was a pretty good movie, but I probably would have appreciated it more if I had ever read any of Wallace’s work.

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