Photo: Ali Wade

What “The End of the Tour” dramatizes—why it will be added to journalism professors’ curricula—is the seduction phase of the profile-writing process…the very structure of the reporting process, with its enforced proximity, can engender a precarious intimacy, even while the ultimate purpose of this intimacy—an article that is to be written by one participant about the other—is never forgotten.

Any reporter may fleetingly fall in love with his or her subject during the process of researching a magazine profile…But for the work to be any good, the writer’s greatest libidinal pleasure must be discovered afterward: when the back-and-forth is over, and the recorder has stopped recording, and one is alone at the keyboard at last.

— Rebecca Mead lauds Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of journalist David Lipsky in the new film “The End of the Tour.” While working on a project for Rolling Stone, Lipsky accompanied literary paragon David Foster Wallace on his publicity tour. In the film, Eisenberg captures the quintessence of the profile writer—the tics, motivations, and rapport—and underscores the challenges of getting too close to a subject.

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