This Must Be the Place (2011 film by Paolo Sorrentino)  » Movies  »
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  • Sean Pean, whom I never noticed as an exceptional actor until I saw this film, is leading the way with the character of Cheyenne - a former rockstar legend, now 45 years old and in retirement with billions of dollars still streaming in from his past success
  • But if you just ignore that for a while, and let this weirdness creep up on you, you'll find out that this amazing odyssey film is filled with brilliant dialogue, beautiful framing and photography, and superb directing
  • It's rare seeing cinematographers being mentioned in reviews but I think this film's cinematographer - Luca Bigazzi - deserves a mention for brilliant framing and camera angles


by Roni GBZ

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    “This Must Be the Place” by director Paolo Sorrentino is not a perfect movie. However, it is damn well close to being one.

    Be cautious though, don’t expect too much of it. It’s not exactly filled with Oscar winning materials. It is more of a cult film, and it’s superb way of storytelling should creep on you as you watch the film, only to be realized days after you finished watching it.

  • This Must Be the Place (2011 film)
  • Sean Pean, whom I never noticed as an exceptional actor until I saw this film, is leading the way with the character of Cheyenne - a former rockstar legend, now 45 years old and in retirement with billions of dollars still streaming in from his past success. Over the years, Cheyenne retained an almost child-like persona, behaving like a shy, weirdo adolescent and still wearing his full show makeup and costume everyday even though he hasn’t performed on stage for more than 20 years.

  • This Must Be the Place (2011 film)
  • Cheyenne lives in a big, shut off from the world mansion with his wife Jane (outstanding performance by Frances McDormand) who is probably the only person in the world who understands him. Having no work at all, Cheyenne spends most of his time being bored and lazy, or having lunches with Mary (Eve Hewson) - a teenager and a fan of him, whom he treats like a weird sort of uncle.

  • This Must Be the Place (2011 film)
  • Now here’s where the film starts going way off the road. You see, Cheyenne also has an Orthodox Jewish father, one he hasn’t spoken to in 30 years because he rejected his makeup when he was a teenager. Cheyenne is informed by his younger brother that his father is about to die, and goes to visit him in New York, only to find out that he arrived too late and his father is already dead. After talking to his brother and reading his father’s diary he learns that his father’s single most important obsession in life was to find and hunt down a Nazi camp guard by the name of Alois Lange, who shamed him when he was a prisoner in Auschwitz back in WWII. Cheyenne decides to embark on a weird odyssey, with the help of Nazi hunter Mordecai Midler (another outstanding performance by Judd Hirsch), to hunt down Alois Lange and bring him to justice in their his own way.

  • This Must Be the Place (2011 film)
  • So if you haven’t realized it yet, this film is weird. Super weird. But if you just ignore that for a while, and let this weirdness creep up on you, you’ll find out that this amazing odyssey film is filled with brilliant dialogue, beautiful framing and photography, and superb directing. It reminded me of films by the Coen Brothers or Wes Anderson, and if you share my love for this kind of directing, this is a film for you to watch. The story-line of this film unfolds in such a unique way, it is a pleasure to watch, and the intense feeling of drama is combined with just the right amount of stupid, hilarious moments, to make you stay intrigued for the whole duration of the film by what’s going to happen next.

  • This Must Be the Place (2011 film)
  • I just have to say it again - amazing photography. It’s rare seeing cinematographers being mentioned in reviews but I think this film’s cinematographer - Luca Bigazzi - deserves a mention for brilliant framing and camera angles.

  • This Must Be the Place (2011 film)
  • There has been much discussion about Sean Penn in the main role. Some critics called it “childish and annoying”. I disagree. Penn’s portrayal of this role is dead on point. I’ve never seen aging rockstars being portrayed so well on screen, and after seeing Penn’s performance in this film it’s hard for me to think of a different way of portraying them. He has done an amazing work with this character, creating a man who is so childish and so naive, yet full of anger and violence and deep hurt feelings. It’s a joy to watch and I have to commend Penn for taking on such a weird character and making it real.

    Again, be warned, it is not a mainstream sort of film to enjoy. If you want to really enjoy this film, you must let go of any expectations you might have regard traditional storytelling. If you manage to do that, you will find in this film a rare pearl in this world of mainstream crap. If not, you’ll just think this film is too weird and you won’t understand what I’m blabbering about. Anyway, do yourselves a favor, and go watch it.



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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in December, 2015. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 1115121652130731/k2311a1215/12.15.15
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