As thought-provoking as it is uncompromising, Jason Schwartzman shines as a self-absorbed writer who doesn’t quite learn the err of his ways in Alex Ross Perry’s sharp and darkly funny third feature.

A complex, intimate, and highly idiosyncratic comedy, Listen Up Philip is a literary look at the triumph of reality over the human spirit. Anger rages in Philip (Jason Schwartzman) as he awaits the publication of his sure-to-succeed second novel. He feels pushed out of his adopted home city by the constant crowds and noise, a deteriorating relationship with his photographer girlfriend Ashley (Elisabeth Moss), and his indifference to promoting his own work.

When Philip’s idol Ike Zimmerman (Jonathan Pryce) offers his isolated summer home as a refuge, he finally gets the peace and quiet to focus on his favorite subject – himself. (C) Tribeca.

Reviews

Writer-director Perry has made a bracing and very Roth-y study of ambition and itchy literary yearning. In another time and another world, Robert Altman captured the essence of William Faulkner’s landscape by filming a nonFaulkner crime story, “Thieves Like Us.” This is comparable to what Perry has done here.