Rebel in the Rye

Highly aware my decision to watch this film is nobody's fault but my own, but I'm so frustrated by the fact that no one in this film can hold a pen correctly.

I was okay with the idea of a Salinger biopic, more than I am with the documentary that purports to tell the 'truth' about his life, but did it have to such a predictable and safe biopic? In the first 20 minutes, people keep addressing him by his last name just in case we walked into the wrong screening room by mistake. I saw the advert for the film in my Dad's New York Review of Books, and I bemoaned the fact that Salinger got the floating-head-in-the-sky treatment, but I see they've wisely chosen a different floaty head poster on here.

I once wrote an essay on J.D. Salinger's Glass family and themes of empathy, and I argued that his writing style asks for an empathetic reader in that the slivers of information given by the author and his characters need to be pieced together by the reader. This film ties everything up with a nice little bow, and it's frustrating. Nicholas Hoult is in no way good-looking enough to play Salinger (what was up with those brown contacts?! Scary alien eyes.). He may have been an insufferable asshole, but he was handsome and he could write, which you don't really get from this project.

Sarah Paulson is a saving grace, of course, and I spent some time thinking about James Urbaniak's unforgettable turn as a foot fetishist on an episode of 'Sex and the City', a welcome distraction. It was nice to see Zoey Deutch (gorgeous as Oona O'Neill), and Victor Garber and Hope Davis as the parents, but I need to reconsider my life choices.