Friday, March 23, 2012

This Must be the Place - Movie Review

Who's in it?

Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch and Eve Hewson

What's it About?

From screenwriter and director  Paolo Sorrentino, This Must be the Place is the story of Cheyenne, an aging, retired rock star living well on his royalties in Dublin with this spunky wife Jane. Upon hearing of his father's ill health he travels home to the US and subsequently goes on a search for his late father's Nazi persecutor. 

Any Good?

Darkly comic and very often surreal, This Must be the Place is the sort of movie I would usually hate but I just couldn't. Penn as Cheyenne is a mix of Edward Scissorshands and an aged Bono with a voice like nails on a chalkboard but there's something so endearing about him you can't help but like him. He has moments of dialogue and actions that are genuinely, can't help yourself, laugh out loud funny. 

Eve Hewson (Bono's daughter irl) plays Mary, Cheyenne's 16 year old Goth friend (a peculiar relationship) and apart from her faltering american accent, even though she's Irish, playing an Irish girl, her performance was rock solid. 

Penn (not Bono) in the Blanchardstown Centre (yes, really)
McDormand as Cheyenne's wife Jane is a breath of fresh air in the movie, actively encouraging him and loving him unconditionally. They provide some of the funniest moments together and I for one would like to see the outtakes of their scenes. 

While I didn't dislike this movie, on the whole, I can't say I liked it either. The surrealism and convoluted plot points that went nowhere or sudden character introductions with no explanation or attempt at cohesive movie making put me in mind of Donnie Darko and I HATE Donnie Darko. It is a testament to the calibre of acting here that made this flick fascinating viewing. 

It seems as though this, instead of one film, is a montage of every movie Sorrentino ever wanted to make. Cheyenne's trip to his native US is disjointed with the story and the Nazi hunting element shoots the script on an entirely different tangent without actually addressing any of the issues it raises. 

While I enjoyed each of the characters in their roles and will be buying the kick ass soundtrack immediately, I just can't recommend you part with your euro bucks for this one. Unless of course Donnie Darko and its ilk are your bag, you probably like Being John Malkovich aswell, don't you? In that case, you'll love it. If not, wait for the DVD to give it a gander, so you too can think yourself when it ends 'Seriously?'. 


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