The End of the Tour, opening August 14 at the Burns, is about the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) and the acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel), writer of the famous novel, Infinite Jest.
Though the film revolves around a 1996 interview between Lipsky and Wallace, it in 2008, just after David Foster Wallace commits suicide, when Lipsky’s interview with Wallace finally gets published. From there,we travel back to 1996 to witness the famous interview as it happened.
Directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now, Smashed), this film is an eye-opening, tender drama about fame, fortune, and how success changes one’s life. Both leads are fantastic (and the film rightly belongs to them), with Jesse Eisenberg bringing his usual tics to his role and inhabiting it with ease. Jason Segel, though, blows the rest of the cast out of the water as Wallace, playing him with a sad smile, nervous about what fame will do to him, and living happily in a Midwestern town alone with his two dogs. This is one of Segel’s best roles, and shows that his range is far greater than just comedy.
The conversations resulting between the two, taken out of Lipsky’s real interviews, are fascinating to hear. Lipsky, in the film, is seen as slightly envious of Wallace’s fame, and Wallace is slightly apprehensive about having a reporter write up his life story, knowing the reporter holds all the cards. Still, the two of them strike up an unlikely friendship, something that is a lot of fun to watch unfold on the big screen.
Infinite Jest is a novel that will live on for years to come, and after this film, will have flocks of people interested in rereading it or reading it for the first time. For anyone who wants a ride into a brilliant writer’s mind, this is a movie for them. Carefully crafted and made with the utmost respect for its subject, it will have viewers thinking long and hard about Wallace and what he represented long after the credits roll.