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This Must Be the Place (2011)

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Cheyenne, a retired rock star living off his royalties in Dublin, returns to New York City to find the man responsible for a humiliation suffered by his recently deceased father during W.W.II.

Director:

Paolo Sorrentino

Writers:

Paolo Sorrentino (screenplay), Umberto Contarello (screenplay)
19 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Penn ... Cheyenne
Olwen Fouéré ... Mary's Mother
Eve Hewson ... Mary
Johnny Ward ... Steven
Sam Keeley ... Desmond
Danielle O'Brien Danielle O'Brien ... Supermarket Girl #1
Margaret O'Reilly Margaret O'Reilly ... Supermarket Girl #2
Frances McDormand ... Jane
Mairin O'Donovan Mairin O'Donovan ... Old Lady in Bank
Simon Delaney ... Jeffrey
Jer O'Leary ... Old Man in Cemetary
Master Deng Master Deng ... Chinese Tai Chi Teacher
Jane Myers Jane Myers ... Jeffrey's Girlfriend
Heather Fedyk Heather Fedyk ... Elevator Woman #1
Iris Frank Iris Frank ... Elevator Woman #2
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Storyline

Cheyenne, a wealthy former rock star (Penn), now bored and jaded in his retirement embarks on a quest to find his father's persecutor, an ex-Nazi war criminal now hiding out in the U.S. Learning his father is close to death, he travels to New York in the hope of being reconciled with him during his final hours, only to arrive too late. Having been estranged for over 30 years, it is only now in death that he learns the true extent of his father's humiliation in Auschwitz at the hands of former SS Officer Aloise Lange - an event he is determined to avenge. So begins a life-altering journey across the heartland of America to track down and confront his father's nemesis. As his quest unfolds, Cheyenne is reawakened by the people he encounters and his journey is transformed into one of reconciliation and self discovery. As his date with destiny arrives and he tracks down Lange, Cheyenne must finally decide if it is redemption he seeks ....or revenge. Starring two time Academy Award winner ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Never for money Always for love See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexual content and brief disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Italy | France | Ireland

Language:

English | Hebrew

Release Date:

24 August 2011 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Un lugar donde quedarse See more »

Filming Locations:

Ireland See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€1,449,721 (Italy), 16 October 2011, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,754, 4 November 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$142,242, 16 December 2012

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,790,979, 20 December 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The red truck in the snow scene has a State of Texas inspection sticker on the windshield. See more »

Quotes

Cheyenne: It's not a question of being careful, it's a question of knowing how to play ping-pong.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The international version is approximately 7-minute shorter than the version screened at the Cannes Film Festival and released in Italy. See more »

Connections

References Paris, Texas (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Lord I'm Coming
Written by Gavin Friday (as G. Friday) and Herbie Macken (as H. Macken)
Performed by Gavin Friday
Taken from the album 'catholic' released by Rubyworks Records
Produced and mixed by Ken Thomas
Recorded by Jolyon Vaughan Thomas
Engineered by Jolyon Vaughan Thomas and Herbie Macken
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Weird on purpose, and imperfect and overdone despite its deliberations
26 November 2013 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

This Must Be the Place (2011)

Sean Penn tries very hard in this film, taking on a role of the worn out and disturbed rock star (Cheyenne) living in isolation. His character is weirdly ambiguous—and just plain weird—somewhere between a cross-dresser, a transvestite, and a myopic hedonist. He is something like "the idiot" of literature who seems completely out of touch but also has a wisdom and aloof perspective others do not.

It sometimes works. The movie itself is filled with ambiguity, and not in an enchanting way. Since it does not charm by its aura and filmic intention (it has little of either), it should give us a better sense of what exactly is going on. Oh, you'll get the drift, and you'll pick up on the Cheyenne's regret and melancholy. And you might understand he hits the road in a bumbling search for some evil-doer geriatric Nazi (I'm serious) that no other person is better qualified to pursue.

Well, any movie that pushes into its own sphere with some enthusiasm is worth watching, to me. I'm glad I did. But I can use my experience to warn a viewer that it's a personal calling here. Penn alone is reason to either hate or like the film, his overacting reminding me mostly that there are people who are really like this character who would have done much better. Instead we feel him acting all the time. It should be said that some of the other actors are forced to push their performances, too.

One curious aspect to the film I loved was all the versions of the one song in the film, "Home" or "This Must Be the Place" by the Talking Heads (and performed by all kinds of people including David Byrne himself in a small, very tacked-on cameo). Some of the versions are so different you might not even catch that it's the same song again. Listen.

So what's the point of all this angst and campy sadness? I think it's about the rediscovery of this Cheyenne's self. His real self, a person with normal qualities. He succeeds by breaking out of his self-imposed hermetic world and in a way it's a warm and almost terrific experience. For him and for the viewer. But for all its intentions it felt forced to me. There wasn't enough supporting material, not enough ambiance, and not enough character development (oddly enough, since it's all about Cheyenne's character). There is so much time spent on superficial aspects we never really get into the depths that might be here. Maybe.

I want to think of this as a 10 star dream with a 4 star soul. That makes 7, I guess. But it feels less satisfying than that for me, and I'm thinking you'll know by now whether you might give this a tentative whirl.


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