Philip (Schwartzman) is the man you’ll love to hate. Ike (Pryce) is the man he could become. They are both tortured, selfish literary geniuses and Moss, Ritter and de La Baume are the women who suffer for them.
Your tolerance for outspoken, self-obsessed twats will determine how much you enjoy Listen Up Philip. There is a strange play between crude pretension and emotional sincerity that makes it hard to judge on its own terms – mainly because it’s unclear what those terms are. The po-faced literary voiceover and dialogue prance gleefully around the realms of self-parody whilst reaching for something much more.
Can you have it all? Can you have characters who are uproarious onscreen but intolerable in real life? Listen Up Philip gets away with it thanks to raw, audacious humour and excellent performances from Schwarztman and Pryce that find humanity in characters who don’t deserve it.
CAST: Jason Schwartzman, Jonathan Pryce, Elisabeth Moss, Krysten Ritter, Joséphine de La Baume
DIRECTOR: Alex Ross Perry
WRITER: Alex Ross Perry
SYNOPSIS: Anger rages in Philip as he awaits the publication of his second novel. His relationship with his girlfriend is falling apart and he’s struggling to write in the city. When his idol Ike Zimmerman offers his isolated summer home as a refuge, he finally gets the peace and quiet to focus on his favourite subject: himself.