Salinger features interviews with 150 subjects including Salinger's friends, colleagues and members of his inner circle who have never spoken on the record before as well as film footage, photographs and other material that has never been seen.
Additionally, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, John Cusack, Danny DeVito, John Guare, Martin Sheen, David Milch, Robert Towne, Tom Wolfe, E.L. Doctorow, Gore Vidal and Pulitzer Prize winners A. Scott Berg and Elizabeth Frank talk about Salinger's influence on their lives, their work and the broader culture.
The film is the first work to get beyond the Catcher in the Rye author's meticulously built up wall: his childhood, painstaking work methods, marriages, private world and the secrets he left behind after his death in 2010.
What the critics thought:
A good documentary can lead you to a place of not knowing what to believe about a subject. A bad documentary tells you what to believe, and why, but in ways provoking disbelief in the movie's tactics.
- Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
This documentary reconstructing the life of the ultimate cult author is like a three-act thriller, and the character at the center of the story is a mute man of mystery.
- Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Fatuous and infuriating, it's a shallow, superficial examination of a multi-layered, enigmatic author.
- Susan Granger, SSG Syndicate
About as complete a profile as one could reasonably wish for...a must-see for anyone with even a passing interest in the issue of how art can take on an uncontrollable life of its own.
- Jim Schembri, 3AW