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Plot: Anger rages in Philip as he awaits the publication of his second novel. He feels pushed out of his adopted home city by the constant crowds and noise, a deteriorating relationship with his ... Runtime: 108 mins Release Date: 21 Oct 2014
Indie at its best. I think that Jason Schwartzman and Elizabeth Moss both were amazing in their roles. She was beautiful and befitting to the role.It takes you through the life of a writer and his relationships with his girlfriends and how he is finding himself in the world. It also centers around his mentor. If you enjoyed Rushmore, I think you will love this film. It is funny and you get the sense that the audience has to be educated to get it. Otherwise most of the material would go over their head. I also enjoyed the narration and he had a fine voice. Please see this film while it is <more>
Well worth it but there is a better movie in here somewhere (by Phillim212)
Jason Schwartzman, Jonathan Pryce, Elisabeth Moss. Exquisite performers doing fine work, with novice writer/director Alex Ross Perry's rings-true, deeply hilarious, and often astonishing script.Schwartzman's 'Philip', blunt young novelist on the verge of stardom, overthinks and over-expresses his live-in relationship with successful photographer Moss, in a tone masterfully tragi-comic. Meanwhile he takes on an aging mentor in the form of overly-prolific writer and all-round monster Pryce. Must have been great fun creating the dozen or more satirical fake titles and book <more>
covers for Pryce's ouvre. And choosing the curley-queue typeface from 1960s paperback covers for the credits -- suggesting Jacqueline Suzanne and Philip Roth -- warmed my little nostalgic heart. Moss and Pryce bless the material with their usual raw, unvarnished truth. Pryce's holy terror is no hack movie villain -- he's the guy a lot of us know, admire, and dread. But Schwartzman -- ah, Monsieur Le Schwartzman -- is in a much better movie than the others. He is The Vortex, and when he is not on screen the film's purpose evaporates, like -- poof -- immediately. Perhaps luring the fabulous Elisabeth Moss to the project at the 2014 point in her brilliant career required giving her an extended Schwartzman-free segment. Moss is always fascinating and unrelentingly appealing -- but the material meanders in her 'separate life' sequence -- and it all starts to feel tacked on. Should have developed this as a separate splendid movie for Moss instead I know -- easily said . . . .There may be structural problems with Alex Ross Perry's script, but his direction of the actors is inspired, and he has a true gift for casting. Location choices, framing choices, mise-en-scene stuff generally prove Perry's is the soul of an artist. Alex Perry knows what a movie is, the way Michael Powell knew, the way Douglas Sirk knew.Alas, the script/edit in the released film breaks a film lover's heart: at times it veers toward greatness, then heads toward what one hopes is mimetic satire of bad writing appropriate in a story about anguished writers , but, oh dear, after a point we realize the film has lost its way, even though the smart, committed performances keep us engaged.The voice-over narration device creaks to the point of annoyance. Again, it is likely a satire of bad writing; it dawned on this humble reviewer too late that it is the voice of Schwartzman's character from his future as old embittered successful hack, relating the events of the film as reductive and clichéd memoir -- i.e., after he has aged into the Schwartzman counterpart of Pryce's dissipated beast. The tip-off is that the narration is not in Schwartzman's reedy voice, nor Pryce's whiny growl, ruling his character out , but the seasoned baritone of Eric Bogosian. A lesser film would have spelled all this out for me in the beginning; a better film would have let me in on the joke a lot sooner.But the world is a better place for this film -- it shows us once again that Schwartzman is a thrillingly observant actor. I always feel he is revealing truths you won't learn anywhere else. Like an earthier version of the young Richard Dreyfus, he ruthlessly justifies every action of the -- mostly A-holes -- he plays. I think his best is yet to come.Overall I am compelled to give 'Listen Up, Philip' a ten for its many successes, its gadzooks! casting, its general ambition, and for its deep respect for the audience. Alex Ross Perry is a keeper.
Schwartzman had a field day in his best performance since RUSHMORE (by george.schmidt)
LISTEN UP PHILIP 2014 *** Jason Schwartzman, Elisabeth Moss, Jonathan Pryce, Krysten Ritter, Josephine de La Baume Narrator : Eric Bogosian Schwartzman had a field day in his best performance since RUSHMORE as an angry, egotistical, mean-spirited and obnoxious NYC writer who finds life pretty much unbearable in spite of his recent success in the publication of his second novel. Along the way he is befriended by a fellow, mellower misanthropic author of well-reknown Pryce equally giving snide goods who offers his mentorship - and country home - for his young charge to use in his writings <more>
and in the process destroying his most recent relationship with an ambitious photographer Moss marveling in a complex and winning performance amidst his selfishness. Filmmaker Alex Ross Perry's nimble direction and clean screenplay has its share of the impossible made possible : having a jerk protagonist actually be sympathetic while not compromising his unique arch demeanor.
One of the best and most interesting movies of 2014 (by SeanBatemanJr)
Very ambitious movie with strong performances, very literary screenplay, unique mix of dark humor and drama.The highlight for me was Ike Zimmerman played by Jonathan Pryce - he was a delight to watch, very darkly charming character, combining anger, narcissism and pettiness with kind of a misanthropic wisdom and genuine warmth toward a protagonist played by Jason Schwartzman.I appreciated the way movie switched from character to character and changed tone, but honestly for me and most people I watched it with the Ashley section wasn't as interesting as parts with main protagonist and his <more>
older mentor. But I respected the fact movie wanted to try more then stick with dark comedy of Philip and Ike sections - and also all parts of the movie veer expertly shot and cut, had great music and were a pleasure to watch.
Profiles the thought process of one of the most perplexing subculture of people (by StevePulaski)
Philip Jason Schwartzman is a mean-spirited, pompous writer, waiting the publication of his second novel so he can rub it in the faces of those like his ex-girlfriend, who either allegedly held him back or doubted his abilities. He is a miserable soul, with a quick ability to insult or belittle someone and never taking anyone's advice or ideas seriously. His relationship with his current girlfriend Ashley Elisabeth Moss is a shaky one, at that, with Ashley growing tired of Philip's morose qualities and his selfish ability to drop everything in his life, putting her life on hold, <more>
and taking different opportunities without even so much as mentioning them to her before his mind is made up. One day, one of Philip's greatest influences, Ike Zimmerman Jonathan Pryce , one of the most prolific American authors of the 1970's, invites him to stay at his summer home with his daughter Melanie Krysten Ritter , where he can hopefully find some tranquility in his life outside of all the mean-spiritedness that has long plagued him. But of course, Ike is just as bitter and cynical as Philip, so the two have their own kind of funny being bitter and cynical together, as Philip takes a low-rent job at a local liberal arts college teaching a creative writing seminar.Alex Ross Perry's Listen Up Philip is a special film because it profiles a disgustingly mean character in such a way that doesn't derail the quality of the film nor make it an insufferable idea. To make a film centered around a soul who is simultaneously unhappy and absolutely contemptible is one of the hardest things in a dramatic film, in my opinion, because while you're depicting such an angry character you need to give audiences reasons to care or intriguing insights to appreciate. Perry does both, offering a look at a soul who has adopted a morose attitude by choice, and someone who wants to be known solely for his writing and not the kind of person he is in real life.Jason Schwartzman is the ideal actor for Philip, as Schwartzman occupies a great sense of self-awareness as a performer. He can play a character who knows damn well he's being a smug, narcissistic snob yet almost leads you to believe he doesn't know he's being offensive or manipulative. Schwartzman's charm also lies in his ability to deadpan perfectly, capturing Perry's dry humor quite effectively. Perry also recognizes his supporting characters in a pleasantly different manner, as well, giving them several minutes at a time to grow from empty supporting characters to detailed ones, profiling both Ashley and Ike in their own separate sections of the film. During these sections, Perry shows how both characters are affected by Philip before and after he enters his life, and all of the emotions and feelings are handled nicely through the use of narration by Eric Bogosian, who does a nice job at adding the intellectual layer of thought to the film's premise.As a writer, a lot of Philip's bitterness, for me, serves as the unconscious part of me that I won't allow be seen by others. The frustration, aggravation, and the heartbreak that brews as a result of exhaustion and dissatisfaction with the way you see other people either completely clueless or disinterested in general. Philip's unnerving attitude is by choice, however, and his active ostracizing of anyone who dare attempts to get close to him shows an insecurity of his own that makes for an interesting profile of a writer. Perry dares show that writers, while often provocative individuals who get us to contemplate a deeper side of life, can also be thoroughly incorrigible souls that can hurt those who try to get close to them or even are forced into having some sort of close relationship with them.Some of the funniest and truest insights of the film come during the discussions Philip and Ike have, particularly when conversations drift and rift towards the idea of women. In one scene, the two men are walking along a college campus, with Philip admiring the beautiful, young women that litter the quad; "don't pay any mind to the attractive women over there; they want more than you're willing to give," Ike says in a statement of other truth. In another scene, when Philip is actively engaging in a bout of self-deprecation, as all good writers should, Ike calmly surmises, "Don't make yourself more miserable than you already are, that's what the women we love are for," in another statement of complete honesty. These kinds of insights make Listen Up Philip a film to recommend, as they offer the itemized thoughts and musings or writers in a way that allows viewers to penetrate the minds of one of the most perplexing subcultures.Alex Ross Perry functions in the mumblecore subgenre of films, not necessarily in look, budget, and aesthetic practice, but in tone and focus, centering on troubled characters who can't stop talking and dialog heavily bent on naturalism. Listen Up Philip, for being a film about a vicious, mean-spirited character, manages to be a thoughtful exercise in profiling the conscious and mentality of writers.Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Elisabeth Moss, Jonathan Pryce, and Krysten Ritter. Directed by: Alex Ross Perry. Site Notes: