Penn's on a road to nowhere in This Must Be The Place
22:46 GMT, 5 April 2012
22:49 GMT, 5 April 2012
THIS MUST BE THE PLACE (15)
Verdict: Aimless road movie
Paolo Sorrentino generated some rave reviews with his 2008 film, Il Divo, a frustrating mixture of stylistic brilliance and story-telling ineptitude.
This Must Be The Place is a similar blend of good and bad, while offering a faintly patronising view of Americans.
The film centres on one of Sean Penn’s most annoying performances. He plays a 50-something ex-rocker who lives in Dublin in a state of minor depression.
Scroll down for the trailer
The film centres on one of Sean Penn's most annoying performances – playing a 50-something ex-rocker who lives in Dublin in a state of minor depression
Despite being married — extremely improbably — to a down-to-earth firefighter (Frances McDormand), he’s stuck in the goth fashions of 30 years ago and finds it difficult to adjust to the present. ‘Why is Lady Gaga’ he whimpers.
Nothing much happens for around 50 minutes. Then, when his father falls ill, he travels to the U.S. and embarks on a journey to track down a Nazi war criminal.
The quirky adventures that follow aspire to become a revelatory road movie, along the lines of Wim Wenders’ Paris Texas; but despite arresting images and eccentric framings, it achieves only the addled pretension of Emir Kusturica’s Arizona Dream.
The title This Must Be The Place refers to a song by David Byrne, who contributes the film’s score and appears at one point to sing it. That’s the high point.
The rest can only be recommended to the extremely patient. 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.
Now watch the trailer