This Must Be the Place

This Must Be the Place

DVD - 2013
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A bored, retired rock star learns that his father is close to death, and travels to New York to reconcile with him, only to arrive too late. He embarks on a quest to find his father's nemesis and persecutor, an ex-Nazi war criminal taking refuge in the U.S.
Publisher: Beverly Hills, Calif. : Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2013.
Edition: Widescreen.
Branch Call Number: DVD-AD COMEDY THIS
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (111 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.


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If you have the patience to trust the screenplay and Sean Penn's brave and brilliant performance you will be richly rewarded. This film has a lot to say about kindness and honesty, pain and healing, and time and listening. All the characters are interesting. The screenplay is moving, thought provoking, surprising, witty, and regularly uplifting. The vulnerability of Penn's character "Cheyenne" is consistently countered by the character's honesty and ability to listen and think before speaking. The ending is hope personified. Highly recommend a second viewing. My only disappointment with the DVD is there are no special feature discussions. Watching this film with subtitles ON is helpful because of the softness of "Cheyenne's" voice through most of the film. Words matter here as much as silence. "Pain is not the final destination."

Jun 30, 2015

Probably the worst movie I have seen since Ishtar. Seriously, what were you thinking Penn??..the story is incredibly weak, slow, and meandering. Why on earth anyone would spend 2 hours of their life on this ( unfortunately I did because I thought surely SOMETHING must happen) is beyond me.

Jan 22, 2015

With his shock of black hair, pancake make-up that highlights rather than conceals his haggard features, and halting childlike falsetto, middle-aged “Cheyenne” (Sean Penn never fails to amaze me) looks like a wizened and emasculated Edward Scissorhands instead of the 80s goth rock sensation he once was. Despite being adored by his loving wife and revered by a new generation of well-fed little nihilists, Cheyenne basically spends his days shuffling listlessly around his Irish mansion on the outskirts of Dublin regarding the world through eyes that have already seen too much and doling out little nuggets of naïve wisdom at the most unexpected times. Now shouldering the effects of a lifetime of excesses not to mention the guilt over a pair of fans who took his fatalistic lyrics too literally, the former crooner exists in a state of perpetual ennui, abandoned by his mournful muse and out of touch with the world at large. But when he travels back to New York to attend the funeral of his estranged father whom he hadn’t talked to in thirty years he realizes just how much he’s really lost. A former inmate at Auschwitz (he told his young son the tattoo on his arm was a “phone number”), Cheyenne’s dad spent his entire life trying to track down the prison guard who once humiliated him seventy years ago and is now an old man hiding somewhere in the States. Taking up his father’s quest Cheyenne begins a Quixotic journey into a somewhat clichéd American heartland where chance encounters with other hurting souls ultimately deflect his goal from revenge to something altogether different. Director Paolo Sorrentino again displays his knack for the visual and narrative pyrotechnics which made 2008’s "Il Divo" such a quirky success. His stylized characterizations of conflicted Dubliners and stereotyped Americans (an avid gun enthusiast explains the joy of killing with impunity) are offset by gorgeous images of spacious skies and amber waves of grain. Although not as tight as "Divo" and a bit too obvious in its message—a young boy’s fear turns to courage, a distraught mother’s longing for her lost son mirrors Cheyenne’s situation, and a chance encounter with a buffalo (huh?) says something about purity of vision—"This Must Be the Place" still proves to be an addictive watch. And the soundtrack is wonderful…look for a cameo by the now snowy-haired David Byrne!

Dec 29, 2014

Surprisingly good movie. Starts slowly but quirky enough and interesting enough to overlook the initial discomfort trying to remotely relate to Cheyenne.

Ends up being a really good story and very unique.

Feb 17, 2014

Amazing movie. Each one of us, whether we realize it or not, has our own journey in growing up. This movie is one of those trips. Not for everyone (as you can tell by the comments) but i thought it was quite enjoyable.

Jan 25, 2014

Sean Penn plays Cheyenne, an aging once famous rock star who hasn’t performed in 20 years and who is living off his money on a large estate in Dublin with his wife of 30 years played by Frances McDormand. With his characterization most likely based on an actual person, Penn sports a disheveled black fright wig, eye makeup and lipstick (looks like a refugee from KISS) and speaks in a dreary slow monotone voice, appearing as if his brain has been fried from many years of drug abuse. While it all may be very authentic, the performance yields at any rate a very dreary, uninteresting, and irritating character. Overall, I found the film a meaningless fusion of themes involving a pathetic has been rock star, atonement for an estranged father-son relationship, and some sort of confusing and bizarre Holocaust reconciliation narrative. The only bright spot in the film were some occasionally beautiful photographs of the West in scenes involving Cheyenne’s road trip.

Jan 12, 2014

Sean Penn played the part really well.

Dec 01, 2013

Yes, it was slow but steadily got interesting (~40 minutes into the film) as the aging long retired Gothic rock legend began his road trip to finish his father's hunt. Nice script with memorable quotes. (Oh! and nice catchy tunes as well.)

Oct 13, 2013


tazz3 Aug 31, 2013

Real off the wall and boring

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Dec 01, 2013

Mordecai Midler: You know about the Holocaust?

Cheyenne: In a general sort of way.

Mordecai Midler: And your father? Did you know your father?

Cheyenne: In a general sort of way.


Cheyenne: I can't explain why I didn't talk to my father for 30 years. I must have thought that there was a mutual contempt. When I was 15, I decided that he didn't love me because I made up my eyes exactly as I do now. When you're a kid, it's very hard to back off from your decisions. But I pretended to be a kid for too long. And only now that I realize that a father can help and love his child, that I have no kids makes me really, really sick.

Dec 01, 2013

Cheyenne: At this particular moment I'm trying to fix up a sad boy and a sad girl, but it's not easy. I suspect that sadness is not compatible with sadness.

Cheyenne: Have you noticed how nobody works anymore and everybody does something artistic?

Rachel: Listen your cheeseburger is a bit too well done. You don't mind do ya? Unfortunately, that's life!

Cheyenne: You know what the problem is... Rachel?

Rachel: What?

Cheyenne: Without realizing it, we go from an age where we say: "My life will be that" to an age where we say: "That's life."

Dec 01, 2013

Jane: You come back to me soon. You know, I can't live without you.

Cheyenne: That's not true, but it's kind of you to say.

Cheyenne: I'm not trying to find myself. I'm in New Mexico, not India.


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