Producer Harvey Weinstein is pulling out his usual tricks to promote the new documentary Salinger, based on the reclusive scribe behind Catcher in the Rye.
So Vanity Fair felt it was only appropriate to return fire with its review of the film, taking a heightened stance to let movie goers know the feature is flat-out “awful.”
The film’s biggest flaw, aside from positing Martin Sheen as a Salinger expert, is that it makes unforgivable use of corny cinematic devices to fill in the gaps and goose its own drama. I couldn’t decide which was worse: The score that plays through the entire movie and touches all the most hackneyed bases, from thrumming Jaws-style scare music to willfully elegiac passages that sound like 30th-generation Xeroxes of Aaron Copland? Or the repeated shots of an actor playing Salinger seated on a stage with a desk, a typewriter, and a cigarette, sometimes typing furiously, sometimes pacing murderously, while a screen behind him shows images of this or that?
…A documentary about Salinger should make you want to go out and re-read all of his work. This one makes you never want to think about him ever again.