Movie Review: The End of the Tour
By Thalio Badio, Contributor
[Modern Man Films; 2015]
Director James Ponsoldt attempts to explain in his new film, The End of the Tour, the painful decline of new-age Hemingway author David Foster Wallace in a perplexing five day adventure. Through a cryptic exchange between an emerging journalist and a clearly depressed and brilliant writer, this film skillfully shows the effects of social anxiety and paranoia on one of our generation's most gifted authors.
David Foster Wallace, portrayed by Jason Segel, is a severely depressed addict, unsure of how to accept the newfound praise over his 1000-page novel Infinite Jest. Through James Ponsoldt’s direction, the audience is able to see--through lingering glances behind cracked doors, uncomfortable conversations in confined restaurant booths and mundane items from gas stations--what might have possibly lead to the eventual collapse of David Foster Wallace. Movie watchers are left to pick up the pieces of Wallace's life and do their best to come to broken conclusions about the troubled and isolated writer.
The End of the Tour is a brilliant collaboration of subtle clues, layered dialogue and restrained acting technique. James Ponsoldt’s creation documents one of humanity's most crippling and devastating chronic diseases--depression, an affliction that unfortunately marred the life of Wallace in cold and desperate Middle Town America. Definitely one of the best films so far in 2015.