Alex Ross Perry

Tribeca Film

After two critically adored novels, success has hardened Philip’s heart and calcified any remaining slivers of decency that may have once existed. As a result, “notability” has turned him into an insufferable, self-involved and repulsive egotist, interested only in his writing and the potential acclaim that may follow. At first glance it doesn’t appear that Philip (Jason Schwartzman) is fraught with internal pain, but it is there. Underneath the narcissistic veneer is a man who neither understands himself nor the world he lives in, thus making it impossible for Philip to emotionally connect with anyone or anything. This recent bout of despondency propels him out of the sonically assaultive milieu that is New York City and into an idyllic country home, away from his photographer girlfriend Ashley (Elisabeth Moss), where he can begin working on his next novel. This is the concise, swiftly constructed setup of Listen Up Philip, the acidic, sardonic and transcendent third film from emerging writer/director Alex Ross Perry.

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Listen Up Philip

“I’m told to expect big things out there.” Imagine what it would look like — what he would look like — if Rushmore‘s Max Fischer grew up without adhering to any of the lessons he learned in Wes Anderson‘s high school-set charmer. All that youthful striving, the gung-ho attitude, the self-involvement, well, that’s just not a good look for a grown-up, which is kind of the point of Alex Ross Perry‘s Jason Schwartzman-starring Listen Up Philip, an indie outing that looks to be taking Schwartzman’s Fischer in a terrible — and hilarious — new direction. In the feature, Schwartzman plays the eponymous Philip (who, yes, definitely looks like he needs to “listen up” to just about everyone else in his life), a self-obsessed novelist on the cusp of delivering his second book. That may sound promising, but things are not going so well for Philip, and his bad attitude and latent anger issues aren’t helping matters. See? He’s an adult-sized monster Max Fischer. Get to know Philip after the break, thanks to the first Listen Up Philip trailer.

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Moss-Schwartzman

Writer/director Alex Ross Perry’s most recent film, The Color Wheel, was a pretty challenging story to ask audiences to get behind, what with its protagonists who were near crippled with neuroses and narcissism, not to mention its incestual undertones—but it was nonetheless interesting and well-made enough to earn largely positive reviews. And it must have turned some heads in Hollywood too, because now Perry is slated to be back with another film, and one that’s set to include a couple of name actors in its cast, to boot. The story comes from The Wrap, who report that the same producing team who wowed Sundance this year with Ain’t Them Bodies Saints are helping Perry to once again get behind the camera and bring one of his scripts to life. This time around he’s written a character drama called Listen Up Philip, and according to the report, it’s a New York-set film that’s going to star Jason Schwartzman as the title character, Philip, a newly accomplished writer whose poor life decisions have often hurt those around him—most particularly his art photographer girlfriend, Ashley, who’s going to be played by Mad Men’s Elizabeth Moss.

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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