This Must Be the Place
Never for money. Always for love.
A bored, retired rock star sets out to find his father's executioner, an ex-Nazi war criminal who is a refugee in the U.S.
Review from Next Projection
Just how important a component of cinematic storytelling is good cinematography? Certainly a badly shot film is one harder to engage with, but should achievement in aesthetic terms take precedence over those in narrative? It’s a fundamental question of what makes cinema unique, really: are not movies—the moving pictures—defined in terms of the quality and composition of these pictures? Scarcely have such ponderings seemed so relevant as in consideration of This Must Be the Place, the English-language debut of acclaimed Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, a deeply troubled marriage of stunning visual vistas and tonally unhinged narrative deliverance.
Paramount not only to the story Sorrentino and co-writer Umberto Contarello weave, but also to its flurry of prominent…
It is remarkable that a film like This Must be the Place managed to get made let alone work as well as it does. A former rock star goes on an American roadtrip to hunt down the Nazi that humiliated and tortured his now deceased father is an odd starting point for a film. Getting Sean Penn to star in the lead role as a weird amalgamation of Robert Smith and Lily Savage is even more bizarre. Like Wim Wenders most famous films this is an American road movie through the eyes of a European arthouse director (Paolo Sorrentino was responsible for the excellent The Consequences of Love) making for an off-kilter but compelling mix of influences.
I don’t like…
Without realizing it, we go from an age where we say: "My life will be that" to an age where we say: "That's life."
Writer/director Paolo Sorrentino first English speaking film stars Sean Penn in a role that was written for him. Penn told Sorrentino that he wanted to work with him after seeing the film Il Divo at the Cannes Film Festival. The only recourse for anyone in film after being told such a thing would be to write a script for Penn to star in, so the director did just that.
It's surprising that it was written for Penn in mind, because it's unlike any character he's played before. Looking like Robert Smith's close brother, playing the…
At times, This Must be the Place feels like a Miranda July film, an overdose of awkward peculiarity. Then it becomes weirdly pretty looking with a Coen brothers-lite kind of vibe. Then it feels Lynchian and mysterious, but closest to The Straight Story in more ways than one. Then it gets Herzogian with a kind of savage discourse between characters with interesting and often hilarious, punch-line kind of dialog and humor. Then it feels a lot like that Ed Norton weirdfest Leaves of Grass, another risk taking prestigious celebrity going down the rabbit hole of deranged method acting. At all times it is comically absurd and more than half of it I'd say is a mess and made no sense…
Around the time I started posting frequently on Letterboxd, this picture was everywhere. It spooked me. Not because I have a phobia of Robert Smith. The resemblance is superficial anyway: that's just the hair and styling. The poster looks uncannily like a composite of 3 guys I've dated, and I experienced both compulsion and trepidation about watching the film, finally taking a deep breath and starting to watch it in December.
When Sean Penn as Cheyenne is walking and talking, his appearance is different. He shuffles along like someone 30 years older. (Why? Is it a really bad after effect of the drugs? Was he always like that?) And his voice is so high (the comparison with Lily Savage in…
If I ever started a band, it would be called "Salty Perineum" and it would consist of me on piano and kazoo, a Jamaican dude who doesn't actually play any instruments and just sits on the edge of the stage reading Shel Silverstein poems, and a female opera singer from Ireland. Our shows would take place in abandoned aviaries across the world and at the end of our sets we would unleash the forgotten ghost-birds onto our unsuspecting audience.
Oh, and what the fuck was this movie about.
Tonal inconsistencies all up in dis bitch.
The first ten minutes of this movie don't match up with the last ten minutes at all...
and I say that in the best way possible.
It's not a great movie. It's not life changing, it isn't particularly deep, but it is very interesting and once you get used to seeing and hearing Sean Penn like he is, it becomes endearing.
Frances McDormand is, as usual, a treasure.
It's basically a coming of age story for an old dude.
David Byrne can't act at all... he is still awesome.
Sean Penn talks weird and tries to pass it off as a performance.
Filme fora do mundinho de Hollywood, creio que seja por isso que não saiu por aqui. Personagem bastante interessante e complexo. Realmente verdade o que você falou, sobre ele viver completamente alienado a sociedade cotidiana, ele consegue ser muito mais são que as pessoas que estão completamente imersas na "vida normal". Mas acho que a personalidade dele sofria influência importante. Acho que o histórico dele como usuário de heróina deve ter deixado sequelas que justificam aquele semblante apático a sereno. Meio lesado até. Achei ele uma mistura de Ozzy com Robert Smith. Não sei ao certo se ele realmente era louco. Acho que ele era alguém mais sobrio que todo mundo (talvez seja um tipo de louco, não sei), por isso que ele concluiu que estava triste. Gosto do estilo europeu de fazer filmes. Nota 8.
Channeling Ozzy Osborne and turning to Robert Smith for make-up tips, Sean Penn works through his former-superstar existential angst by hunting an aged Nazi. It looks great, makes little sense, but carries you along on an interesting and puzzling journey.
Its incoherence is wayside in its entrancing direction and performances that have you feeling like you're slowly losing consciousness, succumbing to nostalgic dreams. The colors are just insanely beautiful, his cinematography is something special and I cannot wait for The Great Beauty.
I think Sorrentino would not have pulled this one off without the involvement of Sean Penn who yet again diversifies his repertoire and like a chameleon he just blends in. Yes it is slow and long, but there is also a fine soundtrack and plenty of food of thought weaved into the storyline.
¿A quién le puede disgustar una película protagonizada por Sean Penn imitando a Robert Smith de The Cure al estilo Joaquín Reyes?
Además, Sorrentino rueda planos secuencia y travellings locos como nadie, cuenta con una banda sonora formidable y tiene una escena memorable con David Byrne interpretando el tema de Talking Heads que bautiza la película.
I think I liked it... I think.
I admired the movie more than I enjoyed it. Same goes for Sean Penn's performance. He made some bold choices in playing Cheyenne, but committed to them pretty much throughout the film.
This Must Be the Place's saving graces are its beautiful cinematography and unceasing idiosyncrasy. There are few films as eccentric as this, and even less with A-list actors in the lead role. But that quirkiness also saps the film of much emotional resonance.
Bonus: a surprisingly competent performance from Bono's daughter, Eve Hewson.