Monday, September 9, 2013
Not for "Salinger" director Shane Salerno exegeses of The Catcher in the Rye or the many short stories J.D. Salinger published in The New Yorker and other magazines; at one point, Salerno uses an embarrassing title card to synopsize Catcher as if we in the audience had never read it.
Instead, Salerno uses a plethora of talking-head interviews and reёnactments (not particularly objectionable since they're mostly of the man typing) to fill in the outlines of Salinger's famously secretive life: his traumatic service in WWII, his relationships with a series of much younger women, and the singleness of purpose with which he approached writing even after affirmatively choosing never again to publish. At two hours, "Salinger" runs way too long (the WWII material especially needs major surgery), but includes several memorable anecdotes and is thorough enough to make you feel you've checked some kind of box off your literary to-do list.