This Must Be the Place

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This Must Be the Place

Paolo Sorrentino (2011)

15 Certificate


Our Score
A retired pop star living a reclusive existence in Dublin finds renewed purpose after his father's death returns him to the United States, in this first English-language offering from acclaimed Italian writer/director Paolo Sorrentino (Il Divo). An almost unrecognisable Sean Penn sports black eyeliner and a back-combed goth hairdo as the central character, delivering a witty and endearing performance that almost makes amends for the film's wayward storytelling. Penn is surprisingly believable as a childlike lost soul confronting his family's connection to the darkest recesses of 20th-century history, yet Sorrentino's drama proves a dismayingly disjointed affair whose ultimate purpose is somewhat perplexing. With Frances McDormand's game turn as Penn's firefighter spouse, notable music from ex-Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and Sorrentino's stylish images of America's kitschy heartland, the movie's constituent elements are nearly always striking, yet somehow they never add up to anything that speaks clearly to the head or the heart. This has to go down as a misfire from a maverick talent.


A goth rock star living a reclusive retirement in Ireland goes to New York to visit his dying father. The deathbed reunion leads to revelations about his parent's experiences during the Holocaust, and propels the sheltered rocker into a journey across America in search of a Nazi war criminal. Comedy drama, starring Sean Penn and Frances McDormand.

Cast & Crew

Cheyenne Sean Penn
Jane Frances McDormand
Mordecai Midler Judd Hirsch
Mary Eve Hewson
Rachel Kerry Condon
Robert Plath Harry Dean Stanton
Dorothy Shore Joyce Van Patten
David Byrne David Byrne
Mary's mother Olwen Fouéré
Ernie Ray Shea Whigham
Director Paolo Sorrentino
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Trinity Filmed EntertainmentGuidance: Swearing. Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 6 Apr 2012
Drama Comedy