‘Rebel in the Rye’ Trailer Celebrates the Genius of J.D. Salinger

     July 20, 2017

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IFC Films has released the Rebel in the Rye trailer. The upcoming biopic from writer-director Danny Strong (Game Change) follows J.D. Salinger (Nicholas Hoult) from aspiring writer through the creation of his defining work, The Catcher in the Rye. The story takes us through Salinger’s complicated relationship with his father, learning from mentor and professor Whit Burnett (Kevin Spacey), fighting in World War II, and returning home to cope with PTSD by trying to finish Catcher in the Rye.

I had high hopes for the film when I saw it at Sundance, but it was a bit of a letdown. Rather than demythologizing Salinger, it feels like a backdoor adaptation of Catcher in the Rye, unable to directly turn the book into a movie (Salinger’s estate will never allow it), so he melds Salinger and Holden Caulfield together, never really reaching the truth behind the author or his famous character. The movie has its moments, but this trailer, which presents the picture as a dry biopic, is pretty much spot on. There’s nothing unexpected about Rebel in the Rye and it’s really only for die-hard fans of Salinger who want to see him get the biopic treatment.  That being said, we’ve been told the cut that will be released in theaters is different than the one that screened at Sundance, so hopefully the new version is better.

Check out the Rebel in the Rye trailer below. The film opens September 15th and also stars Zoey Deutch, Lucy Boynton, Sarah Paulson, Hope Davis, and Victor Garber.

Here’s the synopsis for Rebel in the Rye:

This biopic of legendary author J.D. Salinger (Nicholas Hoult) details his relationship with socialite Oona O’Neill (Zoey Deutch), his experiences fighting in World War II, and his writing process for The Catcher in the Rye. Kevin Spacey and Sarah Paulson co-star. Written and directed by Danny Strong, Rebel in the Rye made its world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Jack Rodgers, Rovi

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