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The End of the Tour (2015)

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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.'

Director:

James Ponsoldt

Writers:

Donald Margulies (screenplay), David Lipsky (book)
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4,737 ( 2,300)
4 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Anna Chlumsky ... Sarah
Jesse Eisenberg ... David Lipsky
Jason Segel ... David Foster Wallace
Joan Cusack ... Patty
Ron Livingston ... David Lipsky's Editor
Mamie Gummer ... Julie
Becky Ann Baker ... Bookstore Manager
Mickey Sumner ... Betsy
Dan John Miller ... NPR Host
Carrie Bradstreet ... Airline Ticket Agent
Johnny Otto Johnny Otto ... Pilot
Joel Thingvall Joel Thingvall ... Movie Theater Usher
Scott Stangland Scott Stangland ... Party Friend 1
Jennifer Jelsema ... Hotel Front Desk Clerk
Rammel Chan ... Student #3
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Storyline

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.'

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Imagine the greatest conversation you've ever had.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 November 2015 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

A turné vége See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$123,238, 2 August 2015

Gross USA:

$3,002,884

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,072,991
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the director, at least one family member of David Foster Wallace has seen the movie. Out of respect for the privacy of the family he wouldn't say anything more than that the reaction was positive and the person liked the film. See more »

Goofs

In one scene, a billboard for McDonald's can be seen at the far right of a gas station, designed at the time of the film's production. Though not clear to see, it uses the slogan "I'm lovin' it", which was not introduced until 2003. See more »

Quotes

David Foster Wallace: [as both of them open the car door] You didn't think to write where we parked the car?
David Lipsky: No, I didn't. Okay? Sorry, I fucked up. I'm a fuck up. Not everybody could be as brilliant as you.
David Foster Wallace: What is with you?
David Lipsky: What the fuck is with you?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Halfway through the closing credits, there is an extra scene told from the perspective of David Foster Wallace as Lipsky goes to the bathroom to wash out the chewing tobacco. It shows what Wallace did while he was in the bathroom: he speaks privately into the tape recorder. See more »

Connections

Features The Late Shift (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

New Orleans Instrumental No. 1
Written by Bill Berry, Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, and Mike Mills (as Michael Mills)
Performed by R.E.M.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best biodramas in history.
20 August 2015 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"Fiction's about what it is to be a human being." David Foster Wallace

In 1996 David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) interviewed acclaimed author David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) over the course of several days in Minneapolis for a book tour about his 1000 page epic novel, Infinite Jest. Essentially a two hander in the spirit of the recent True Story, about the interview with alleged murderer Christian Longo (James Franco), The End of the Tour is one of the most accessible biopics about smart people in recent memory.

What sets The End off from True Story and other stories about gifted, troubled authors is its easy manner that doesn't play up intellectual snobbery but rather tries to understand the isolation and diffidence of geniuses. While Lipsky is not the genius writer that Wallace is, he is still a published novelist and a writer for Rolling Stone—the boy has the chops that allow him to get inside Wallace, as much as that is possible with writers slightly less private than, say, JD Salinger.

Wallace reveals himself, albeit obliquely, as a talented working class author bedeviled by addictions that seem to feed his insecurities: Obsessed by TV, he decides not to have one because he'd watch it; having overdosed on booze, he decides not to drink; whether or not he became addicted to heroin is uncertain.

What is certain is that as individualistic as Wallace is, and his densely verbose prose would confirm that, he is still one of us just trying to figure out his existential place in a chaotic world. His immersion in pop culture makes the brainy prose readable and enjoyable because he is tuned in and while heavily analytical, in touch with our daily experience.

Such is the spirit of The End of the Tour: it frequently relies on the mundane (e.g., pop tarts for breakfast, McDonald's for dinner, old TV shows for entertainment) to allow the more challenging—why he wears a bandanna—to reveal his soul (he worries that Lipsky's question about the affectation of the bandanna now makes himself conscious about wearing it, as if he were trying for an impression when he actually wasn't). His prose can be downright entertaining: "Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshiping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship."

Segel is a revelation as an actor. From mediocre romcoms to perfectly embodying a conflicted writer, Segel remains in low-key character throughout. Here's what Wallace says about the loneliness that was his constant companion before he committed suicide:

"Fiction is one of the few experiences where loneliness can be both confronted and relieved. Drugs, movies where stuff blows up, loud parties — all these chase away loneliness by making me forget my name's Dave and I live in a one-by-one box of bone no other party can penetrate or know. Fiction, poetry, music, really deep serious sex, and, in various ways, religion — these are the places (for me) where loneliness is countenanced, stared down, transfigured, treated." (The Pale King, 2011)

Introduce yourself to this verbal magician by seeing one of the best films of the year: The End of the Tour.


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