[Film Review] This Must Be the Place (2011)

Photo Courtesy of Element Pictures.

Photo Courtesy of Element Pictures.

This Must Be the Place, distributed by Element Pictures, directed by Paolo Sorrentino and starring Sean Penn is…well…interesting and better than I expected. But, to be honest…I didn’t know what to expect. I had watched the trailer several times at work.

Originally debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011, it was released here in the United States in late 2012. The cover of the DVD/BR release is what originally caught my eye. Then, the promo loops hammered it home. However, still unsure, I was not willing to plop down the $14.99 to find out. However, thanks to Netflix (which now provides the title as part of their streaming service), This Must Be the Place will be part of my collection after all.

The blurp at IDBM reads: “Cheyenne, a retired rock star living off his royalties in Dublin, returns to New York City to find the man responsible for a humiliation suffered by his recently deceased father during WWII.”

This, however, doesn’t do the film justice, hence my hesitation at first. Penn does an amazing job here. Deadpan and almost child-like…it’s about a man making amends with a estranged father (post death), the places he sees and the people he meets along the way. The creative team behind the title paint a visual like one I haven’t seen in some time. The casting is simply amazing as everyone involved adds their own flare to the film.

This Must Be the Place is, in my opinion, a breath of fresh air. Many may not like it. I, however, think I can come to watch it several times without growing tired of it.

Two scenes in this movie stand out to me, and all but scream greatness:

1. The scene involving the big-boned child, a single mother and Penn’s character, Cheyenne. The child asks Penn to play This Must Be the Place by Arcade Fire. The exchange of dialogue and the resulting outcome is…well…beautiful.

2. The scene in the gun shop and the discussion involving killing with impunity.

Please, take time out of your day and watch this film. Keep an open mind and chances are, if you were even close to the same mindset I was when the time came to be stunned…you won’t regret it one bit.

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One Response to “[Film Review] This Must Be the Place (2011)”

  1. Great review. I feel the same about this film. Didn’t know what to expect but completely fell in love with it.

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