The Ends of the Tour recalls Rolling Stones reporter David Lipsky’s (Jesse Eisenberg) five-day interview with acclaimed novelist, short-story writer, and essayist David Foster Wallace (Jason Segal) as he finishes his book tour for his magnum opus ‘Infinite Jest’.
There is an unfamiliarity I have with the real David Foster Wallace in both the person and his art while it did prompt me to do a little research, The End of the Tour can’t be classified as a biopic. The End of the Tour does not promise to teach, show, or enlighten on the man who David Foster Wallace was, but shows us snippets within this five-day interview. Anyone who has ever, principally artist/journalist, had the chance to interview a subject of greater importance can relate to The End of the Tour. David Lipsky has the chance to find out what makes this person think and achieve universal acclaim only to use it for your own benefit.
Most people who would read this, myself included, dream about one day being as great as or better than that of the subject you read about. David Lipsky allows to view a snippet of that desire but ultimately leaves us to questions whether he uses Wallace’s death to move forward in his career. Much like how think pieces and essay are written when celebrities die and countless of authors publish books to get their name out.
The End of the Tour is also a tale about bonding and building a friendship that is only left stagnant due to the reasoning of why Davis Lipsky is present in the first place, to write a story on David Foster Wallace for Rolling Stones. Lipsky is there for a propose: cheap dirt is always the best way to get more readers, investigating on rumors of drug abuse or a being a recovering alcoholic, but these questions don’t ever get answered. Wallace certainly does enjoy Lipsky’s company but realizes that a friendship cannot be established due to Lipskly’s journalist nature.
Jason Segal gives the performance of his lifetime (maybe following in the footsteps of the friends Seth Rogan and James Franco) and steps into the role of this tragic character with great ease. Segal as Wallace is smart and real and plays the part of a sensitive observant artist well. Jesse Eisenberg has never been one to phone it in (including Now You See Me) and up to par with any performance he has put on-screen before.
The End of the Tour gives us a glimpse of a genius in how he sees the world, through the eye of a reporter. What ultimately comes from this encounter ends up as a snippet that has not pushed Lipsky career forward as he reads his book at a signing event to an empty room.
Rare now in days to see a film like this to be capture on film, but director James Ponsoldt capture this intimate moment beautifully. The presentation captures the film grain, but there are some slight compression artifacts the makes the grain seems blocky as some moments on-screen.
- Audio Commentary by Director James Ponsoldt, Screenwriter Donald Margulies, and Actor Jason Segel
- “Behind the Tour” Featurette
- A Conversation with Composer Danny Elfman
- Deleted Scenes
The End of the Tour is now available everywhere on Blu-Ray and DVD