This Must Be the Place (15)

Film

Drama

Sean Penn, center, in This Must Be the Place

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Apr 3 2012

With this tale of an eccentric rock star cut off from the world, Paolo Sorrentino joins the gang of European auteurs, from Antonioni to Wenders, who have followed success at home with a road trip to the States. For the director of the superb ‘Il Divo’ (2008) and ‘The Consequences of Love’ (2004), it’s a bumpy ride of stalls and diversions. He begins with a promising deadpan comic portrait of Cheyenne (a brilliant, surprising Sean Penn), an American rocker in exile in Ireland, but images and ideas part company when the film travels to America and falls in thrall to hackneyed visions of the country and a perspective on the legacy of the Holocaust that feels awkward. This is a wry and affecting film, but it has a sluggish momentum compared to the carnival of ‘Il Divo’.

Cheyenne hasn’t touched a guitar in years and hides behind a bush of black hair and a mask of make-up. He lives in Dublin with his wife (Frances McDormand) and exists in a state of amiable depression. He hangs out with unlikely friends – a young goth woman, a boorish office worker – and reacts with confusion at the modern world, at one point gnomically asking in a slow, slurring, weird voice: ‘Why is Lady Gaga?’ The illness of his father takes him back to New York and propels him on a journey across country to find an elderly Nazi who wronged his dad during the war.

Sorrentino’s films are visual delights, and there’s a lot to savour here. But too often we’re left with a carefully framed shot or travelling camera in search of an idea. The same can be said of the film’s Nazi-hunter storyline – it feels like an excuse to get Cheyenne out on the road. ‘This Must Be The Place’ is always curious and imaginative but it’s never better than its scenes in Dublin, and you’re left with the feeling that Sorrentino’s eccentric story and daring style masks just another movie about the healing powers of the road.

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Apr 6, 2012

Duration:

112 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star:2
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LiveReviews|13
1 person listening
Dave

Couldn't watch more than half an hour. Silly movie, Penn's characte was completely inconsistent in mental state from one moment to teh next, the scene with the guy form the band asking him top produce their album was as bad a scene as I have ever watched. Art? of a form I suppose, but certainly not entertainment

Joel

Wonderful and quirky visual feast, a real treat for our private movie group to get to grips with. Very reminiscent of the David Byrne movie which I saw in 1988 - was that called "True Stories" or "Stop Making Sense"? (Per Ian's comment) Sound track sublime!!

great

Very very good - every shot looks like a work of art! Sean Penn is amazing as usual, and great supporting cast, too. A couple of bits didn't convince (the David Byrne gig seemed gratuitous, and near the end, things get a bit straggly. But there's so much about this that makes it totally worth seeing.

Moi

Why do all the reviewers miss the point of the song and the title which eloquently and touchingly encapsulate the ethos of the film?

Moi

Why do all the reviewers miss the point of the song and the title which eloquently and touchingly encapsulate the ethos of the film?

twigmeister

Loved it in all the locations, from Dublin to New York to Utah. Understated, funny and redemptive.

twigmeister

Loved it in all the locations, from Dublin to New York to Utah. Understated, funny and redemptive.

Beck

Dave, isn’t This Must be the Place rather a modern Peter Pan story - a beautiful movie about an older man finally coming to age? I’m sure it is, think of the cigarette scenes for instance…

Beck

Dave, isn’t This Must be the Place rather a modern Peter Pan story - a beautiful movie about an older man finally coming to age? I’m sure it is, think of the cigarette scenes for instance…

Fill

A good movie. Even if it lack of an original plot, it's full of images from the visionary director: it's like watching a very good abstract painting.

Fill

A good movie. Even if it lack of an original plot, it's full of images from the visionary director: it's like watching a very good abstract painting.