2 November 2012 9:00 AM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

It’s hard to take Sean Penn’s Kathy Griffin–does–Edward Scissorhands makeup job in This Must Be the Place seriously, but that’s kind of the point. Playing an aging retired rocker named Cheyenne, who spends his days lounging around his enormous Irish estate and/or hanging out at the mall, the actor speaks in a soft, halting squeak of a voice that suggests nothing so much as a young child afraid of being found out.Not coincidentally, it also echoes the psychologically broken mutterings of real-life rock survivors like Ozzy Osbourne and Brian Wilson; Cheyenne, too, we learn (if we hadn’t already assumed), has done his share of drugs and drink and had his share of breakdowns, one of them apparently after two teenage boys killed themselves listening to his melancholy pop songs. The sad songs, Cheyenne tells us in a rare moment of anguished candor, »


- Bilge Ebiri

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