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Plot: The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace's groundbreaking epic novel, 'Infinite Jest.' Runtime: 106 mins Release Date: 21 Oct 2015
To me, this was the best film at Sundance Film Festival with a perfect blend of comedy, drama, and life lessons. Both Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel had towering performances in this film. And James Ponsoldt Director of Spectacular Now and Smashed presented the two main characters' relationship perfectly. The cinematography was also simply amazing! You can tell that the cinematography for this film was done so passionately as well as the music in this film. Of course who could expect anything less from 4-time Oscar nominee Danny Elfman for his amazing composing skills. To me this is a <more>
must see for audiences who are young adults although it can be viewed by any age mainly because of its view on how life should be lived. Right after the film was over there was a Q&A and one of the members of the audience stated, "Mr. Segel if you don't receive an academy award or nomination for your performance I would be very surprised." I just hope this film doesn't become another gem that goes unnoticed because of all the huge studio releases this year.
Could very well remain my favorite film of the year (by jjustinjaeger)
Rarely am I enlightened by a film in the way I was by this one. Not that I was lectured or taught something, but that I had a visceral response to what I had experienced on screen that I wouldn't be able to explain but to ask you to recall a song or a book or a show that invited you to pour your soul into it and in return reminded you of what it was like to have one. I was reminded that films can do this.I don't expect everyone to like it to the degree that I did because I can only base my strong inclination towards this movie on the connection I personally made with it which was <more>
emotional rather than intellectual, although the film is rich and lingering in its intellect as well, and of course; I recognize what makes this film profound, which I'll try to explain.This is a talky film from director James Ponsoldt, who I'd now have to rank as one of my favorite contemporary directors after this and another I've seen and loved, The Spectacular Now. This director isn't one you'd normally find on a list ranking among the greatest working today because he's not about style and doesn't appeal to the ego as much as other contemporaries such as Wes Anderson and David Fincher do in addition to many others, not to single them out . No, Ponsoldt is subtle and reserves his ego. He is unimposing on the lives of his characters and candid about what his films are trying to do and say, not hiding beneath film rhetoric or allegory or the impression of a representational work. And what's great about this is how his films point out that you don't need intricate sets or perfectly symmetrical shots to create beauty. This film has some of the most beautiful shots I've seen the shot of them walking in the snow, the shot of the normally- withdrawn Wallace dancing , all the more so because of their subtlety, giving the feeling that the beauty was discovered and not created by the director.But the beauty is often created by the actors. Ponsoldt trusts his actors and puts his efforts towards making the characters come alive before our eyes. I was under the fantastic impression that I was witnessing a completely real human soul with Segel's performance. He felt so real, so three dimensional. I understand him, even though I am not him. This is more magical to me than sweeping camera movements or extravagant art direction. I didn't realize when watching the film that the dialogue is all based on, if not directly taken from, the tapes journalist and protagonist David Lipsky Eisenberg recorded of his interviewee, universally acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace Segel . The dialogue is rich with insight into the character's thought processes and their observations on life but mostly those of Wallace . I was riveted at every moment the two were talking, feeling as though being revealed before me were the truths of life. The thrill of being a fly on the wall. And it's not just the words containing the wisdom of the thoughtful and complicated Wallace, but the delivery via the actors and the way in which the many hours of tape are edited to allow Wallace's ideas and observations to resonate. Even beyond Wallace's ideas, the film cuts to the core and observes Wallace as a human being, not different for his brilliance but the same for his humanness.The film is about so many things it would be overwhelming to attempt list all of them. Its ideas, however many, are all-encompassing of what it means to exist, which is, beyond the desire for fame and ego-boosts, to want to be understood. The film observes how the inner-worlds of all people are so uniquely complicated and pays tribute to that wonder. I'll be relating my experiences to this film in time to come.
Segel & Eisenberg are top-notch in one of the year's best films - a must see for those who respect the written word and enjoy it spoken aloud! (by george.schmidt)
THE END OF THE TOUR 2015 **** Jason Segel, Jesse Eisenberg, Anna Chlumsky, Mamie Gummer, Mickey Sumner, Joan Cusack, Ron Livingston. Absorbing quasi-biopic about the late author David Foster Wallace Segel in an Oscar-worthy turn of brilliance and balancing comedy/tragedy perfectly on the last leg of his book tour for his iconoclastic book "Infinite Jest" accompanied by "Rolling Stone" journalist David Lipsky equally good Eisenberg who sees a story in his subject as well as bonding with him in friendship with some doubts along the journey the two men embark upon. <more>
Literate and smartly conceived by Donald Margulies' adaptation of Lipsky's account "Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself" with moments of deadpan comedy and piercing poignancy no doubt even-keeled direction by James Ponsaldt leave in indelible imprint on the cost of fame in the pursuit of honesty, truth and integrity the ultimate price of celebrity defeating one's own self-worth . One of the year's best; a must see for those who love well-written and spoken dialogue.
An inspiring, often funny account of Wallace's book tour, with a standout performance from Jason Segel. (by joey-ziemniak)
Prior to seeing this film, I had limited knowledge of David Foster Wallace and his works. After seeing the film, I wanted to learn more. The End of the Tour dir. James Ponsoldt is a very reflective film, highlighting author Wallace on the last stretch of his book tour for his novel Infinite Jest. Our entry point into this intriguing man is David Lipsky, a Rolling Stone reporter hired to do a piece on him in the late 1990s.What little there is of plot is made up for in excellent characterization. The film is really all about existentialism, and thankfully it never leans towards <more>
pretentiousness. Rather there is an air of optimism about making your time on earth worthwhile. Wallace and Lipsky in a way represent two extremes of existentialism. Wallace is very relaxed, and takes his newfound celebrity with a grain of salt, while Lipsky is very Type-A, yet never brash or irritating. Lipsky has been trying to get his foot in the door as an author for a while now, while Wallace almost became famous overnight, and the film plays with the concept of "fame" in fun and unique ways. Through the film, Ponsoldt is able to explore these two extremes and find common ground between them, all while touching on the idea of fame and what it means to different people.The script is outstanding, and hits all the right notes I touched on above. The dialogue between Lipsky and Wallace feels natural, nothing is forced. I wonder how much improvisation was done for the film, because the two seem like good friends from the moment they meet. There is a natural chemistry that draws these two characters together, and it's outstanding to watch on-screen. It's difficult to adapt a book like Lipsky's, which is mostly interviews and recording, as the book was published after Wallace's death in 2008. But screenwriter Donald Marguiles makes it work, and the result is an insightful, often hilarious film.All this talk about chemistry would be a waste if it weren't for Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg as Wallace and Lipsky, respectively. Segel is a marvel as Wallace; it's a performance that doesn't demand much, yet Segel taps into all of Wallace's nuances and quirks. His delivery, cadence, and warmth almost makes it feel like you're talking to an old friend. It's a subtle performance that I hope is remembered come awards season. Eisenberg, too, is great. His reporter-type isn't very developed until the middle-end of the film, and he might come across as annoying for some. But he makes Lipsky tick as the curious interviewer wanting to learn more. He's driven by his desire to success, his want to make a successful piece for Rolling Stone, yet he ends up with a lot more.The End of the Tour is a huge success. It isn't a very showy film, without much in the way of technical prowess, yet it's a talker. The realistic dialogue and blasé tone make the film feel like a 140 minute hang out with two good friends. Ponsoldt keeps a tight grip on the film's themes, never letting one overpower the film's true intentions. It's a wonderful ode to Wallace, and a funny one at that.
Saw this film last weekend at its world premiere at Sundance. First of all, Donald Margulies' script was fantastic. I am slightly partial to good writing in film, so perhaps that's just what stood out to me, but the dialogue is incredibly well-written and natural and at least generally captures David Foster Wallace's fascinating way of talking. In essence and in the best of ways , nothing really happens in this movie. There isn't a lot of high stakes drama, but that's exactly what makes it so compelling. It's like we as the audience get a glimpse into two men <more>
struggling with the same ideas about life, art, expression, addiction, culture, and depression. Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg live up to the task of interpreting the script, helped along the way by director James Ponsoldt. The direction is simple, and the camera work is relatively basic throughout, giving the actors plenty of room to work with natural rhythm. Segel definitely impressed me, as this was the first dramatic role I've seen him in. While he didn't exactly capture some of Wallace's real-life mannerisms, I'm not sure if that was exactly the point of the film. He interpreted the script in a powerful way, and I think that that ended up working out quite well for the overall tone of the film. Eisenberg played his usual somewhat neurotic, slightly asshole- ish character very well, and I thought it fit the reporter role perfectly.Overall, I would strongly recommend the film. 9/10
A Conversation that Makes You Glad to be the Fly-on-the-Wall (by vsks)
In 1996 David Foster Wallace's 1079-page novel Infinite Jest hit the literary scene like a rocket. The publisher's marketing efforts meant the book was everywhere, but the man himself—shy, full of self-doubt, not wanting to be trapped into any literary poseur moments and seeing them as inevitable—was difficult to read. This movie uses a tyro journalist's eye to probe Wallace during an intense five days of interviewing toward the end of the Infinite Jest book tour. As a tryout writer for Rolling Stone, reporter David Lipsky had begged for the assignment to write a profile of <more>
Wallace, which ultimately the magazine never published. But the tapes survived, and after Wallace's suicide in 2008 they became the basis for Lipsky's 2010 book, Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, which fed David Margulies screenplay. The plot of the movie is minimal; instead, it's a deep exploration of character. It may just be two guys talking, but I found it tectonic. Director James Ponsoldt has brought nuanced, intelligent performances from his two main actors—Jason Segel as Wallace and Jesse Eisenberg as reporter David Lipsky. Lipsky is a novelist himself, with a so-so book to his credit. Wallace has reached the heights, and what would it take for Lipsky to scramble up there too? Jealousy and admiration are at war within him and, confronted with Wallace's occasional oddness, one manifestation of which is the attempt to be Super-Regular Guy—owning dogs, eating junk food, obsessively watching television—he isn't sure what to feel. You see it on his face. Is Lipsky friend or foe? He's not above snooping around Wallace's house or chatting up his friends to nail his story. Lipsky rightly makes Wallace nervous, the tape recorder makes him nervous; he amuses, he evades, he delivers a punch of a line, he feints. When the going gets too rough, Lipsky falls back on saying, "You agreed to the interview," and Wallace climbs back in the saddle, as if saying to himself, just finish this awful ride, then back to the peace and solitude necessary actually to write. In the meantime, he is, as A. O. Scott said in his New York Times review, "playing the role of a writer in someone else's fantasy." The movie's opening scene delivers the fact of the suicide, which by design looms over all that follows, in the long flashback to a dozen years earlier and the failed interview. You can't help but interpret every statement of Wallace's through that lens. The depression is clear. He's been treated for it and for alcoholism, from which he seems to have recovered. The two Davids walk on the snow-covered farm fields of Wallace's Illinois home and talk about how beautiful it is, but it is bleak, and even in as jam-packed an environment as the Mall of America Wallace's conversation focuses on the emptiness at the heart of life. Yet his gentle humor infuses almost every exchange, and Lipsky can be wickedly funny too. Wallace can't help but feel great ambivalence toward Lipsky; he recognizes Lipsky's envy and his hero-worship, and both are troubling. He felt a truth inside himself, but he finds it almost impossible to capture and isn't sure he has, saying, "The more people think you're really great, the bigger your fear of being a fraud is." Infinite Jest was a widely praised literary success, but not to Wallace himself.
It was an interesting conversation between two people narrated to film (by subxerogravity)
It's a nice light movie about a reporter who does a story on an reclusive young writing genius.It has the same vibe of another Jason Segel movie, Jeff Who Lives at Home.The End of the Tour is funny but not a comedy, and it's literally all talk. Just Segel and Jesse Eisenberg going back and forth for about two hours.It's a good thing the conversation was interesting, and acted out by two actors who seem like good conversationalist.I loved Jason Segal as David Foster Wallace, the contradictions of his brilliance is appealing. The world thinks he's a brilliant writer, but he does <more>
not. I've seen this done many times in a movie, but what's different this time was David's love of action movies. It made his struggling artist persona something that I can relate to.In fact, that's what made the whole movie great for me. It's a lot of intellectual talk,but it's more of a Guy's Guy relationship than a similar movie, Set Fire to The Stars. Jason Segel has already perfected this type of thing in movies like, I Love You Man. Eisenberg was cool in the movie acting like a straight man to Segel's focus.The movie does not dumb down the importance of this brilliant young writer, but using Segel and Eisenberg to adapt this story made it far more interesting a reason to watch two guys talk for hours.
Well-written, photographed and edited, sensitively directed and acted, this is a tragi-comic tale of clashing male egos and the insecurities that lie beneath them. As it follows its two central characters' journey to and from a book-signing session in Minneapolis, the film reveals itself as an examination of and a debate about American values without ever being preachy. Just by observing these two guys, we learn a lot.Jason Segal deserves to win a lot of awards for his portrayal of writer David Foster Wallace. Wary of success, but aware that he's been wired to want it; suspicious of <more>
the journalist who comes to interview him, but aware that there is a connection there; convinced that loneliness is the fate of those who tell the truth, but nonetheless craving companionship; insisting on his ordinariness and conflicted by the special status both his talent and his success has granted him: somehow, Mr Segal manages to convey all this as he shambles through scene after scene. You come away happy to have come into his orbit, but saddened by the all-pervading melancholy, constantly teetering on the edge of a depression that has already reared up and dragged him under, and that would eventually claim him completely.Opposite him as the admiring, envious,nervy and occasionally opportunistic journalist David Lipsky, on whose memoir the film is based, is Jesse Eisenberg. He has a narrow range as an actor but within it is incomparable. He has chosen his parts very well indeed. Here is another of those quick-thinking but wounded personalities at which he excels. He, Jason Segal, writer David Margulies and director James Ponsoldt, chart the stages of the characters' growing relationship in careful detail. The result is a compelling, enjoyable, quietly provocative movie that feels as if it's about a lot more than the sum of its parts.
Great acting, great dialogue, great film (by lucasversantvoort)
I must confess the name David Foster Wallace didn't really ring a bell nor did the title of his breakthrough book Infinite Jest. Nevertheless, knowing all this is not required at all to be enthralled by this fascinating film.The film opens with Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky sitting on his couch in his New York apartment. He's played by Jesse Eisenberg and he's on his laptop, so already I'm getting The Social Network flashbacks. He's got a Golden Retriever next to him, however, so we know he's a good guy. He soon comes across a review of Infinite Jest and is <more>
determined to dislike it. After reading it, however, he discovers a bit to his dismay that he absolutely loves it. He practically begs his superiors for a chance to interview Wallace which they agree to, stipulating that there 'better be a story here'. Lipsky makes the long trip to Wallace's house where he finds he doesn't look at all like he imagined. Instead, as Lipsky parks his car in the driveway, through the front door comes a rather tired looking man with long, dry hair and a bandana; a hippie only without the drugs. They kick off with some small talk and over the course of several days their relationship will evolve quite a bit, though this applies more to Lipsky who has to balance his respect for Wallace and his job as an interviewer. Another underlying source of frustration for Lipsky is that he's bothered by the fact that this shabby looking guy--who he respects--is a superior writer.The interviews, more like regular conversations, are easily the best parts. I wouldn't be surprised if most if not all of the lines were taken from the actual interview. There's a wonderful lack of 'theatre' in the way Wallace speaks that is totally endearing. A script by a Chayefsky Network or a Sorkin The Social Network would have ruined this film as this film's intended impact relies almost entirely on natural dialogue. The film is equal parts showing the dynamic between Lipsky and Wallace and doing justice to Wallace's philosophizing and way of life.You can imagine that with this natural way of speaking, it's not exactly hard to care about these characters. The performances by Eisenberg and especially Jason Segel help tremendously. The director wisely opts for a natural 'light' approach; one that doesn't undersell the drama, but actually enhances it with its fly-on-the-wall effect. It's refreshing to see a film that allows its drama to unfold in a natural way without any scenes that reek of Oscar-bait. When the two Davids stumble upon a few bumps in their relationship, it's told in a natural, believable way.All in all, it's 1 hour and 45 minutes that fly by really quick. I can't judge if the man himself is represented honestly, but I can say that The End of the Tour is utterly compelling.