The End of the Tour, 2015.
Directed by James Ponsoldt
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Segel, Joan Cusack, Ron Livingston, Mamie Gummer, Anna Chlumsky and Mickey Summer.
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.’
The End of the Tour is the latest film directed by James Ponsoldt, which shows the real life story of Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) spending five days with acclaimed writer David Frank Wallace (Jason Segel) and interviewing him for the famous magazine. This takes place just after Wallace’s groundbreaking novel ‘Infinite Jest’ was released. Ponsoldt takes us through the five day interview and we see as these two guy become good friends but start to constantly bicker and argue the more they get to know one another. It’s a real in depth look inside the mind of two clearly talented writers and how much they differ from one another as we watch over the course of the film.
This was a pleasantly surprising little film. Not that I expected it to be a disappointment but it surprised me in how genuine and real it felt as the story went along. Watching these two guys and listening to the conversations they have together, you really get a feel for who these guys were and what makes them tick. James Ponsoldt does a wonderful job at making everything feel almost like a documentary in way. With this story being based on two real people you get a real sense that you’re watching the interview take place as if it’s actually happening and that was something I didn’t expect to get out of the film.
Ponsoldt gets some really fantastic performances out of his two leads. Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel are both talented that we’ve seen them give good performances in other films, but here they both turn it up a notch and we get to see performances from them like we haven’t seen before. Jason Segel deserves a little more praise just because this is the first role he’s had where we really get to see the acting chops he has and how much range has as an actor. There’s been Oscar buzz around both actors and I wouldn’t be surprised to see both of these guys nominated for acting awards come February. The rest of the cast does a fine job as well but this is really Eisenberg and Segel’s time to shine.
There aren’t too many negatives here that I would say bring down the film but it’s definitely not without a couple. For me, the pacing was just a little too slow. It’s not an extremely long film but it felt longer than it was because it took it’s time to get where it was going. The story here also doesn’t jump out and grab you right away, it does take some time to grow on you and once you get to know these characters and see more of their interactions then you start to appreciate it a lot more as it goes on. Outside of those few gripes the film as a whole is definitely solid.
While The End of the Tour may not be for everybody it certainly is an acting showcase for both Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel. The story does take a little time to get going but you will find yourself completely immersed in the conversations between these two characters and that is what makes the film.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Jake Peffer – Follow me on Twitter