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'Salinger' documentary earns mixed reviews

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The Weinstein Company/AP

(Read caption) Author J.D. Salinger (l.) stands with other counterintelligence officers after the Normandy invasion during World War II.

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The documentary “Salinger” – which explores the life of reclusive “Catcher in the Rye” author J.D. Salinger and has been touted for months as revealing many secrets about the writer – hits theaters today. Does it live up to the hype? And just how juicy are those secrets?

The movie is directed by Shane Salerno and includes thoughts on Salinger by acquaintances, fellow authors, and movie stars who reflect on his legacy and life.

Monitor critic Peter Rainer awarded the film a grade of "B," writing that “Salinger,” which is directed by Shane Salerno, is “by turns fascinating and infuriating.” One of the main secrets, says Rainer, is the announcement of possible new works by the author that will be published (check out our article on the new Salinger novels and stories here).

“Much of what is revealed in this film has been reported in the past, though not in such detail,” he writes of the movie. Rainer calls Salerno’s hypothesis that Salinger’s emotional troubles were in part caused by post traumatic stress disorder dating from his service in World War II “plausibl[e].” “But there is much overreaching in this film,” he writes.


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