The End of the Tour
Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky's account of his interview with David Foster Wallace, author of Infinite Jest, gets a very fine film starring Jesse Eisenberg as Lipsky and Jason Segel in a surprising, non-comedic turn as Wallace. The movie is beautiful in that it's so eloquent in the way it shows two young writers simply talking to one another about their craft, and deftly illustrates how Wallace thought and spoke thanks to an incredible performance from Segel. The film chronicles the final days of Wallace's book tour, a time where he was trying to learn how to deal with the perils of sudden success. It's heartbreaking in that we viewers know what fate awaits Wallace 12 years after their meeting. It touches upon the sadness and problems that plagued Wallace and eventually led him to suicide, made most evident when the two square off over Wallace's college sweetheart (Mickey Sumner). Segel and Eisenberg make this particular moment an uncomfortable and even scary one. Segel, without outright declaring what his afflictions were, gives us real insight into the insecurities and conflicts that beat Wallace down in the end. Directed by James Ponsoldt, who is on a hot streak with this and prior films The Spectacular Now and Smashed, the film offers nice insight into the sudden fame that Wallace achieved, and the journalist who was fascinated by it.