Scott Marks 4:30 p.m., Dec. 5
There is much to be learned and admired in Shane Salerno’s documentary about the kid with the shaggy arms and Country Club upbringing who lived to pen one of the most important novels of his or anyone else’s generation, but not enough information to warrant the running time. The film functions best when covering Salinger’s use of his famed reclusivity as a PR tool. But the artsy dramatic recreations, sycophantic talking-head testimonials, and dialog-drowning score are all in need of a good toning down. Many complain that the film paints its subject as a lecherous hound who only left the house when a pretty young voice was on the other end of the phone. In that department, Salerno makes a fairly strong case for himself. Kudos to the filmmaker for having the good manners to highlight Jerry Lewis’ dogged attempts to play Holden Caulfield. Every one of Jerry’s calls to Jerry was greeted by a hangup. 2013.
— Scott Marks