Jury Coordination and Notes

Rebel in the Rye – Insightful look at this author filled with conflicts

I enjoyed watching the drama/biography Rebel in the Rye, directed by Danny Small which examines the life of J.D. Salinger, best known for his novel, Catcher in the Rye. This book was very controversial when it first came out and, although I didn’t read it at the time, this film has inspired me to do so. More on that is yet to come!

The film shows Salinger’s determination, arrogance, humor and underlying inspiration. J.D. Salinger not only has inner conflicts, but he has a major conflict with his dad Sol Salinger (Victor Garber). This film stirred my curiosity so much that I downloaded the book Catcher in the Rye into my audible library. The film also inspired me to seriously begin writing a book.

In the film, we see a young, smart-mouth J.D. Salinger (Nicholas Hoult) as he experiences the horrors of World War II. The combat scenes are not graphically displayed, but Salinger experiences many people killed, including a good friend. He also sees a concentration camp and he is a victim of a mugging.

Strong characters include Whit Burnett (Kevin Spacey), as Jerry’s tough mentor. You can see that he really believes in Salinger and pushes him to “find his voice.” Another character who stands out is Hope Davis as Salinger’s mother. The scene when she receives a copy of his novel is very moving. One of the funniest moments in the film comes when Salinger asked Little, Brown and Company to not send him any reviews of his book. In classic comedic fashion, the very next scene shows Salinger seen reading the reviews at home. I enjoyed seeing the secluded place where Salinger pursued his writing. It is very lovely and peaceful.

You should know that there are scenes of drinking, partying and smoking (common during this era), mild profanity and mild sensuality. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. I give it an enthusiastic 5 out 5 Stars. I plan to see it again.  This film comes out on September 15, 2017 so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Juanita S.L, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

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