By Gregory Crofton
Documentaries about writers always draw me in, so I was disappointed to read in quite a few places that “SALINGER,” the film about the writer of “THE CATCHER IN THE RYE,” J.D. Salinger, is disappointing and downright near bad.
It does get off to a slow start. The beginning is a tabloid scene where an unnamed photographer talks about snapping a photo of the author at a New Hampshire post office. It doesn’t set the right tone for the film that follows. That first scene also made me wonder if there would be an onslaught of interviewed celebrities — Ed Norton, John Cusak — because they’re featured in the trailer.
Those type of celebrity interviews are present, but sparse and brief enough not to be annoying. When director Shane Salerno, who spent about seven years gathering material for this project, starts telling the story of how Salinger literally wrote his way into World War II, the documentary gets and stays interesting.
It may not be the slickest doc. And it maybe full of exaggeration. But don’t forget this is the life of J.D. Salinger that Salerno is trying to document. It’s a task few people would be determined enough to take on, and I thank him for it.