Listen Up Philip

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With its omniscient narrator, sparkling, literate dialogue, and insufferable white male protagonist, Listen Up Philip is more like a novel than a film, and in fact more like a novel than many novels. Written and directed with astonishing sure-footedness by Alex Ross Perry, this acerbic comedy is, fittingly, about a novelist—one Philip Lewis Friedman (Jason Schwartzman), an anxious, snippy wunderkind whose first book rocketed him to stardom in New York literary circles. Philip's photographer girlfriend, Ashley (Elisabeth Moss), is fed up with him, while his mentor, a Philip Roth-like novelist named Ike Zimmerman (Jonathan Pryce), encourages him to strive for writerly excellence even as he himself exemplifies the sort of callous, lonely crank Philip might become.

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