October 25, 2014

Listen Up Philip (2014)

Listen Up Philip (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Alex Ross Perry
Country: USA

Movie Review: After “Impolex” in 2009 and “The Color Wheel” in 2011, writer-director Alex Ross Perry returns more mature and solid in this “Listen Up Philip”, an independent American dramedy that does a great job on exposing the damages caused by the ego. Jason Schwartzman plays Philip Lewis Friedman, a respected writer who waits for the publication of his second novel. Philip grows increasingly unsatisfied with life in general, including his relationship with Ashley (Elisabeth Moss), a photographer with whom he lives for some years. We can notice that he gets upset, either when people don’t care about him, or when people praise him too much. Struggling to get some solace and extremely tired of the noisy NYC, the selfish, unsentimental, and disconcerting Philip will try to find peace by isolating himself in a country house, accessing an invitation of his idol, the writer Ike Zimmerman (Jonathan Pryce). The blend of arrogance and loneliness is perfectly conveyed by Schwartzman, but the film doesn’t confine itself to this character-study. All the other characters deserve a look, and in the end we get elucidated of how these interveners are, and how they think. A cozy light and warm colors compose the captivating images brought by a handheld camera frequently in movement, adorned with discreet jazz tunes or pop songs. In a smart way, and despite of revealing itself too dense, Alex Ross Perry avoids the rigidness and artistic pretentions usually associated to this type of film. Everything feels very human.

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