Glenn Kenny has written a not-yet-posted piece for Vulture that takes issue with the portrayal of the late author David Foster Wallace in James Ponsoldt‘s The End of the Tour. It won’t appear until just before the film opens on 7.31, but it’ll probably be fairly interesting as Kenny knew the late writer fairly well (as an editor as well as on purely personal terms) and considered him a pally of sorts. He told me this morning that Tour is a “really inaccurate” portrait of what Wallace was like as a person.
I replied that it can’t be that inaccurate as Donald Margulies‘ script is based on David Lipsky‘s book, “Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself,” which is largely based on cassette recordings of his conservations with Wallace when he was interviewing him in ’96 (when Wallace was 34) for a Rolling Stone piece.
Kenny had strong retorts but those are on background. As noted, his piece is up later this month.
Margulies knew Ponsoldt from having taught him writing at Yale, and sent him the script directly. Margulies had no idea if he even knew who Wallace was but thought on the basis of his other films (The Spectacular Now, Smashed) that he would be perfect. It turned out Ponsolt was a Wallace devotee who had waded heavily into “Infinite Jest” at college and had read almost everything else Wallace had written. He even quoted Wallace’s “This Is Water” commencement speech at his own wedding.