Interview: James Ponsoldt on David Foster Wallace and the objections to The End Of The Tour

“I’m rambly,” James Ponsoldt admits with a chuckle. Verbosity is far from the only qualification Ponsoldt has for directing a movie about the late David Foster Wallace. Ponsoldt counts the brilliant thinker as a literary hero—lines from “This Is Water” were read at his wedding—and the director has proved his mettle with two character-driven gems, Smashed (2012) and The Spectacular Now (2013). Alternately probing and winning, The End Of The Tour follows freshly minted literary sensation Wallace (Jason Segel) sparring and bonding with Rolling Stone journalist David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) over five days as Wallace wraps up his publicity tour for Infinite Jest in 1996. The movie has come with a set of high-profile objections, namely from Wallace’s family and friends such as film critic Glenn Kenny, who recently penned an eloquent, scathing essay on The End Of The Tour—and Segel’s performance—for The …

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