By Ray Pride
In James Ponsoldt’s magnificent, minimalist “The End Of The Tour,” Jason Segel plays a writer named “David Foster Wallace.” Not, David Foster Wallace. A modest caveat before offering praise after reading objections from the late writer’s estate.
I’m taking this character as “Dave,” instead, if I may: truths may be obtained in this bittersweet, tender simulacrum of a few days in his life. A little while after the 1996 publication of “Infinite Jest,” Rolling Stone assigned novelist David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) to spend five days on the road, at the end of his book tour, with David Foster Wallace. Rolling Stone didn’t run the article, but Lipsky eventually published transcripts of the recordings between pesky journalist and sensitive author as a book, “Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace,” which is the basis for the dense, delicious screenplay by Donald Margulies (“Dinner with Friends”). It’s a remarkable distillation of so many writerly phases of perception and self-deception, of ego and self-abnegation, of assertion and unyielding, inexorable doubt. Read the rest of this entry »