I’m actually not sure how well known My Salinger Year is. I hadn’t even heard of it until very recently and that was only because the movie was featured on an entertainment TV talk show. It certainly seemed interesting and I loved the fact that it was about an aspiring author and the famous J.D. Salinger. I knew I had to add it to my list and I have to say that I am really glad I decided to check it out.
The year is 1995 and aspiring writer and poet Joanna (Margaret Qualley) has left her comfortable life in Berkeley, California for the exciting New York City. Sure that she will be more successful in her dreams there, she finds herself a job at one of the city’s oldest literary agencies. What she doesn’t realize straight away is that the company takes care of J.D. Salinger, as well as other well known authors. Though Joanna has not read any of his books, she is appointed the task of replying to the endless amount of fan mail the author receives. Though she is told precisely how to answer each and every one, Joanna believes there are some fans who deserve more than an automated response. And as Joanna settles further into her role, all while becoming more acquainted with Salinger himself, she becomes so wrapped up in his legacy that she begins to forget her own dreams in the process.
Aside from the story which held my interest throughout, I have to say that I was also attracted to the film because of Margaret Qualley. When I first saw her in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, I knew that her talent would take her places in the years to come. Her portrayal of Joanna was relatable, realistic and I felt she really carried the movie well. This only made me more excited to see her in many more projects in the future. Sigourney Weaver, who has a role as Joanna’s boss Margaret is a household name. She is amazing in everything she does and the two had great on screen chemistry. I liked how their relationship grew into a mutual respect as time went on.
I’ll admit that like Joanna, I also have not read any of Salinger’s novels. So I saw myself in this character, though not only for this reason, but for the fact that I am an aspiring writer too. It also reminded me that it’s important to stay true to yourself and to always follow your dreams. The rest will follow after.
My Salinger Year is the perfect film for fans of the author, writing or anything in between. I hope it is released in many other places because it deserves more love and appreciation.