There’s an entire sub-genre of coming-of-age films that use Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger as a catalyst. Whether the writer appears in the movie at all, he’s come to symbolize the freedom and responsibility that comes in the transition to adulthood. And that definitely appears to be a central theme in My Salinger Year, which stars Margaret Qualley as an aspiring writer who comes to work for the reclusive author.
Joining Qualley in the 1990s-set film are Sigourney Weaver, Douglas Booth, Colm Feore, Brian F. O’Byrne, and Yanic Truesdale. Philippe Falardeau wrote and directed the film, adapting from Joanna Rakoff’s memoir. Falardeau previously directed Chuck, The Good Lie, and earned accolades for Monsieur Lazhar in 2011.
My Salinger Year opens March 5th courtesy of IFC Films.
New York in the 90s: After leaving graduate school to pursue her dream of becoming a writer, Joanna (Margaret Qualley) gets hired as an assistant to Margaret (Sigourney Weaver), the stoic and old-fashioned literary agent of J. D. Salinger. Fluctuating between poverty and glamour, she spends her days in a plush, wood-paneled office – where dictaphones and typewriters still reign and agents doze off after three-martini lunches – and her nights in a sink-less Brooklyn apartment with her socialist boyfriend. Joanna’s main task is processing Salinger’s voluminous fan mail, but as she reads the heart-wrenching letters from around the world, she becomes reluctant to send the agency’s impersonal standard letter and impulsively begins personalizing the responses. The results are both humorous and moving, as Joanna, while using the great writer’s voice, begins to discover her own.