The Movie Waffler New Release Review - This Must Be The Place | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - This Must Be The Place

Directed by: Paolo Sorrentino
Starring: Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch, David Byrne, Kerry Condon, Eve Hewson

Penn is at a career worst in this pretentious English language debut by acclaimed Italian director Sorrentino.
Something which irritates many Irish people, myself included, is the fact that "artists" can live here tax free. For this reason we have a disproportionate number of burnt out rock stars and faded thespians living on our island whilst contributing nothing in return. Here Penn plays one such charlatan, a Gavin Friday lookalike rock star who quit twenty years ago when his lyrics influenced two young fans to commit suicide. Returning home to New York for his father's funeral, he becomes embroiled in the hunt for a Nazi war criminal.
Everything about this movie irritated me. Penn is immensely annoying, speaking in a horribly mumbled voice while constantly blowing hair out of his face. Sorrentino seems to have been watching the oeuvre of Wes Anderson on repeat for the last year, every second shot features a character framed dead center staring into a slowly tracking camera. The "quirkiness" of the humour amounts to such comic lines as a rock band being named the "Pieces Of Shit". My oft repeated gripe about unoriginal use of music is given weight here, almost every musical cue will remind you of another film. This must be the twentieth film to feature Arvo Part's "Spiegel Im Spiegel" in the last ten years.
The whole movie feels like a joke whose meaning only those involved in are privy to. Mixing such quirky humour with a holocaust sub-plot feels severely misguided.
If there are two things Italians do well it's food and cinematography. Luca Bigazzi does incredibly good work here and I can honestly say I've never seen Dublin look so good onscreen. It's just a shame my city has to be associated with such pretentious crap.