The End of the Tour Review

Preface

  • Wow…
  • So hello everybody!
  • I FINALLY got around to seeing The End of the Tour, from director James Ponsoldt.
  • James Ponsoldt directed The Spectacular Now, one of my favorite movies from 2013 and a movie that stuck with me for a while after seeing it.
  • So naturally, I was here to review his newest movie that I was extremely excited about!

Premise

  • So The End of the Tour is about this journalist for Rolling Stone named David Lipsky (played by Jesse Eisenberg) and it follows the one week he spent with acclaimed writer David Foster Wallace at the end of Wallace’s book tour.
  • And that’s it. That’s the movie.

Review

  • What originally sold this movie to me (other than Ponsoldt) was the incredible word I heard about the actors in this movie coming out of Sundance.
  • Jesse Eisenberg was a little annoying in his role, though he is in most roles nowadays.
  • However, Eisenberg was more than just the same character, and those annoyances made his character who he was over the course of the movie.
  • Jason Segel though… He will definitely be nominated for an Oscar for this movie.
  • When Segel as David Foster Wallace first came on screen, you didn’t see Jason Segel as David Foster Wallace, you just saw the character that was presented to you on screen.
  • And he has a very subtle transformation at first, but after about halfway through the movie, that’s when Segel hits his best moments.
  • I can tell you exactly what scene his Oscar clip will be from. The guy is a powerhouse in this movie.
  • But more than that, I loved seeing the two of them on-screen together.
  • It’s a very unlikely bond that forms between these two guys yet it’s a bond that entices you and it’s one that you just want to see more of.
  • The reason that the acting complimented the writing beautifully though, is that this is a human story.
  • Oh my God the writing in this movie.
  • The actors do the writing so well because of the human conflict in this movie.
  • Most movies nowadays, even Oscar contending movies, feel like they need to make the scope of everything so HUGE and everything needs to be really intense.
  • The End of the Tour makes everything feel really contained and personal, which Ponsoldt did in The Spectacular Now, and he did again with this movie.
  • Everything felt like it was on the realistic level of believability, and nothing ever felt too grandiose beyond believability.
  • The dialogue in this movie too was really what sold it.
  • I would say that even more so than the acting, the script is one that will stick with you.
  • This is a screenplay I would even consider downloading and reading.
  • The End of the Tour uses these quiet moments of dialogue between Lipsky and Wallace to express the really large themes of the entire movie.
  • There are some moments where a conversation may feel a bit too complex for just two normal guys, but when you look at the characters, you recognize that this is how these two guys would interact.
  • All the dialogue, especially from David Foster Wallace, is just captivating and so enticing.
  • And like I said, the themes are presented so beautifully through this dialogue.
  • This is a mature movie without any crass language, nudity or violence.
  • Sure they swear once or twice, but ultimately this movie got its R-rating for the mature themes.
  • Because no 12 or 13 year old should see a movie that’s this dense and this complex.
  • The themes of this movie made me just sit glued to my seat for about three full minutes after the movie was over.
  • This movie talks about very mature subject material like addiction and depression and jealousy and inspirations and aspirations and ambition and if someone can really be content, and the power of words, and what it means to be normal and most importantly: loneliness.
  • This movie talks about loneliness REALLY well and presents it as this very abstract concept for the first half of the movie, but really makes YOU feel lonely in the second half of the movie.
  • Which I attribute to James Ponsoldt’s flawless direction.
  • There were a few missteps here or there, but the direction for this movie is (and I do not use this word loosely) FLAWLESS.
  • James Ponsoldt conveys this script’s themes so well by getting only the best from his actors.
  • But more than that, his style was very classy which is what I loved about The Spectacular Now.
  • The End of the Tour used even more symbolism though.
  • Like there’s this scene in the diner where only wide shots were used, and the first 2/3 were from one angle, where David Wallace is the one being interviewed, but then he turns the tables on Lipsky.
  • And at that point, the scene changes to a wide shot from the other side of the table. But only for about a minute, then the scene ends.
  • An example of the loneliness I was talking about is towards the end of the movie, where Segel leaves Eisenberg alone in a room, and the scene lingers for about five seconds. And it pans out, showing just how big the room seems with only one person in it, conveying a sense of discontent and aloneness with only Lipsky in it.
  • And I love that Ponsoldt inflects that level of symbolism into his work.
  • Like you start to question whether Lipsky is interviewing Wallace or they’re both interviewing each other to an extent…

In Conclusion

  • In Conclusion guys, I can’t recommend this movie to everyone.
  • Like I said, this movie has a very adult feel to it and it’s definitely not for everyone.
  • That being said, I thought this movie was profound, it was moving, it was even uplifting to an extent, and it was BRILLIANT.
  • This was a brilliant film.
  • James Ponsoldt’s direction was flawless, the screenwriting was exceptional, the acting was out-of-the-park.
  • The themes were something that I thought about my entire ride home, and this is yet another Ponsoldt film that will stick with me for a while.
  • I can see that some people may deem some parts of the movie ‘boring’ or ‘slow’ but for what this project was attempting to capture and accomplish, I thought it was brilliant.
  • The End of the Tour is… A 5/5.

***

So guys, those are my thoughts on The End of the Tour. I know that not many people have seen this movie, but if you have, what were your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments down below, and as always, thanks for reading guys.

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