It does suffer from some occasional uninspired direction and poor production value. There are lackluster details like lazy name caption graphics and occasionally corny/inappropriate stock music... that sort of thing. But as an in-depth journalistic investigation of Salinger and his work, this is a decent documentary.
I definitely know more about Salinger than I did 2 hours ago but I suspect it wasn't anything that wasn't already out there in a biography or few. The projection shots, daunting score and empty drama they tried to create were a definite handicap to this documentary but there are worse things in the world.
Informative but not particularly revealing documentary examining the reclusive life of writer JD Salinger who after the whirlwind success of his novel 'Catcher in the Rye' basically disappeared from public life. Having past in 2010 we are left with the promise of some new works coming from his foundation over the next six years. Film is well edited but often feels like its just scratching the surface.
'Salinger' is the kind of documentary you have to be glad the famous writer didn't live to see. The sensational tone, bombastic music and papparazzi zoom lenses all add to an uncomfortable invasion of J.D. Salinger's literary legacy - which is conveniently reduced to 'troubled genius' and 'we have a right to know what's in the safe'. Read my full review: www.brnrd.net/blog/archive/2013/11/30/a-phony-doc
It begins as a History-Chanel-Like pedestrian documentary made for TV and the structure is a mess (as is the terrible terrible TERRIBLE score). Then it turns into an exploitive sensational tabloid-like picture that almost made me sick at the ending. But in between that, it is actually pretty informative for those who had never read about the author's life (like me) and there lies it's merits.
Unlike the other reviews of this documentary on writer J.D. Salinger, I feel this was an informative film about a reclusive man whose life was the driving force behind every single word he put to paper - and the lack of true understanding among the masses about his work. Other writers will relate to the disparity and "hurt" that Salinger felt, but if nothing else, this film provided a great look at a complex man.
An inept, amateurish, and chaotic "documentary". Salerno suffers from ADHD: his inability to develop a theme or idea for more than three seconds is appalling. This idiotic collection of redundant and irrelevant soundbites shows why Salinger felt the need to protect himself from mass media and from paparazzi like Salerno. "Salinger" is exploitative, fraudulent, and morally nihilistic. Salerno is a phony.
Divulges everything; captures nothing. The content and even some of the interviews are fascinating by default. What's missing is a mood or strong disposition toward its subject and the structure is clumsy, leaving the viewer with no choice but to feel skeptical towards its creator. What the film gets sorely wrong is that you can understand a figure like Salinger without completely demystifying him.