Conversations in Intimacy

Dylan Rupptrecht

James Ponsoldt’s The End of the Tour reveals the enlightening conversations writer and journalist David Lipsky made with the late, brilliant author David Foster Wallace. These conversations transpired during the last five days of DFW’s 1996 book tour for his literary mammoth, Infinite Jest, and were originally only meant to be recorded for an article in the Rolling Stone.

Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel in a scene from The End of the Tour (AP photo)
Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel in a scene from The End of the Tour (AP photo)

One Rolling Stone article, however, would not have done justice portraying the wealth of insight these two writers shared; fortunately for those interested in writing and, specifically, fans of David Foster Wallace, there is The End of the Tour.
With banter ranging from intellectually stimulating to hilariously immature, DFW (Jason Segel) and Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) fascinate us with glimmers of poignancy stretching throughout the movie. The film opens with Lipsky receiving the news that David Foster Wallace had allegedly committed suicide over a decade after the tour. This is indeed the tragic reality of one of the greatest writers of our generation. This is all the more reason why these conversations are more significant.

The film does not actually get into the literary stack of essays and books DFW has written, but instead focuses on the writer’s core, the wonderful and enriching parts of it, as well as its tribulation.

What I liked the most about this film is that it does not bombard you with glimpses of a tortured artist, but instead emphasizes the more positive and goofy side of DFW.

Jason Segel fully encapsulates himself in one of his favorite and most challenging roles. Even if you are not familiar with either writer, this movie offers an abundance of insight any starving artist or tortured writer can resonate with.