For an amusingly acerbic look at the dark side of the artistic mentality LISTEN UP PHILIP, a stiletto-sharp study of self-absorbed and misanthropic New Yorkers, ticks the boxes for those who can watch the emotional car crashes of the seriously unpleasant.
Philip Lewis Friedman (Jason Schwartzman), a young and angry writer having his second book published, hates everyone except himself and shows it at every opportunity, treating his long-suffering girlfriend Ashley Kane(Elizabeth Moss) appallingly and berating an old college friend, who shared his ambition and is now in a wheelchair, for being a failure. Thus our Phil is truly a compellingly watchable and nasty piece of work too arrogant to promote his book he learns from his publisher that one man out there, older and more successful author Ike Zimmerman (Jonathan Pryce) actually liked his work.
Ike invites Plilip to spend some time at his quiet summer home in upstate New York to write his third book, where it becomes clear that, like Philip, Ike has fed his ego by rejecting all his friends and most of his family, and the two very similarly psychopathic men, both coincidentally with beards, proceed to bring out the worst in each other, including Ike’s treatment of his daughter Melanie (Krysten Ritter).
LISTEN UP PLILIP is well-crafted, well-acted, enhanced by a sharp and funny narration by Eric Bogosian and written and directed by Alex Ross Perry. It was released this month on Blu-Ray by Eureka Entertainment.