This Must Be the Place

This Must Be the Place

Cheyenne is a former rock star. At 50 he still dresses ‘goth’ and lives in Dublin off his royalties. The death of his father, with whom he wasn't on speaking terms, brings him back to New York. He discovers his father had an obsession: to seek revenge for a humiliation he had suffered. Cheyenne decides to pick up where his father left off, and starts a journey, at his own pace, across America. 2.9 out of 5 based on 15 reviews
This Must Be the Place

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Comedy, Drama
Director Paolo Sorrentino
Cast Eve Hewson, Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch, Harry Dean Stanton, David Byrne Sean Penn
Studio Trinity Distribution
Release Date April 2012
Running Time 118 mins
 

Cheyenne is a former rock star. At 50 he still dresses ‘goth’ and lives in Dublin off his royalties. The death of his father, with whom he wasn't on speaking terms, brings him back to New York. He discovers his father had an obsession: to seek revenge for a humiliation he had suffered. Cheyenne decides to pick up where his father left off, and starts a journey, at his own pace, across America.

Reviews

The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

For its first half-hour This Must Be the Place behaves like this-must-be-the-film-you-don’t-want-to-see. Penn is mannered to a point of maddeningness: all high, faint voice and unblinking stare ... Later I loved the way this hero, pressing on with his dad-ordained itinerary, confronts the American Grotesque – from the World’s Biggest Pistachio to the pampered matrons with their pooches to the stalag fugitives hiding in icy nowheres – with a wisdom as deadpan and assured as another recent Germanic seeker, Werner Herzog.

04/04/2012

Read Full Review


Screen

Lee Marshall

For all its theatre of the absurd and occasionally cheap laughs, the film carries a surprising emotional heft, and while the Holocaust theme should not by rights sit easy in what is essentially a comic quest, there’s also a sincerity in the exercise, a need to understand man’s cruelty to man, that wards off any sense of cheap exploitation.

21/05/2011

Read Full Review


Total Film

Andrew Lowry

This is as much about a European filmmaker’s feelings about America and its genres as it is about plot. Sorrentino’s arthouse smarts enable him to bolt on tough-stuff European history to his version of America as a plasticky playground, and have it remain on the side of the angels.

26/03/2012

Read Full Review


The Times

Wendy Ide

Sean Penn’s performance as an ageing rock star turned Nazi-hunter in Paolo Sorrentino’s first English-language picture is, depending on who you talk to, either the silliest thing he has ever done or the freshest, boldest and most engaging performance of his career. Possibly even both. Penn’s performance initially seems absurd enough to unbalance the film — but it’s a gamble that pays off.

06/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Independent on Sunday

Jonanthan Romney

Sorrentino's first English-language script, co-written with Umberto Contarello, is creakily overwrought in places. But the film's irreducible strangeness is triumphant, with an unexpected lightness of touch – unexpected because much of that lightness comes from Penn's delicate mischievousness, which is not something you see every day.

08/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Daily Telegraph

Robbie Collin

Penn’s character is outstandingly hard to root for: moneyed rockers tend not to inspire sympathy at the best of times, and Cheyenne’s whinnying voice makes him sound like the world’s most annoying horse. Even minor tics infuriate, such as his habit of dragging his suitcase everywhere. I found myself constantly on the verge of bellowing “For heaven’s sake, just leave it in the boot!”

05/04/2012

Read Full Review


Time Out

Dave Calhoun

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.

05/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

Tracking down a wartime camp guard is such a hefty left turn for this story; it takes the movie to the edge, and over the edge, of logistical plausibility, and loads it with an importance that threatens to capsize the movie, while always insisting on a dimension of bleary, rock-star naivete. Of course, it could be that the very unassimilable bizarreness of the Nazi quest is part of the point: a distancing effect ... Sorrentino's films take place in a world of strange things: the audience is jolted, startled, woken up, but woken up into a more intense, more lucid kind of dreaming.

05/04/2012

Read Full Review


Scotland on Sunday

Scotland on Sunday

An intriguing patchwork of a picture, with all the direction of a wonky-wheeled suitcase.

01/04/2012

Read Full Review


Empire Magazine

Angie Errigo

Penn’s bored, deadpan, sorrowful Goth relic, with his thin, high, flutey little voice and heavy, smeared make-up, is a gob-smacker — funny, insecure, but with a childlike honesty and courage, and near miraculously touching. This also scores highly for originality, unpredictability and cinematography: less so for dubious taste and bewildering twists.

02/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Evening Standard

Derek Malcolm

Certainly surprising but a little on the determinedly eccentric side.

05/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Sunday Times

Cosmo Landesman

What might be a cute and quirky comedy of character takes a turn into darker territory, but it lacks the right tone or thematic weight for its subject matter. Cheyenne is an insufferable character, and Penn gives us a performance, not a person. The quirkiness is contrived, the comedy flat.

08/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Observer

Philip French

The performance is a tour de force of self-indulgent tedium; his whimsical journey from Dublin to New York and out into the west is a series of dim encounters culminating in the unlikely discovery of his father's antagonist living on the salt flats of Utah. This meeting with an agent of the Holocaust is as misguided, and nearly as offensive, as the concentration camp sequences of Life Is Beautiful, the movie that brought Oscars to Sorrentino's compatriot Roberto Benigni. Along the way there are occasional arresting images, but they prove minor compensations.

08/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Independent

Anthony Quinn

To say the plot is overcrowded is putting it mildly, and it's hard to feel any sincere connection with Cheyenne's encounters when all of them seem to have been hatched within the same factory of oddball movie characters.

06/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

As it dragged on and on, I found myself wondering if a more accurate title might not have been another of Byrne’s songs, Road To Nowhere.

05/04/2012

Read Full Review


©2013 The Omnivore