Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sean Penn's 'This Must Be The Place', Great Posters, Mixed Reviews

Happened across this (top) poster today, which I hadn't seen before, and realized just how good all the posters for this movie have been.

Striking, compelling, draws you in, makes you wonder.

Especially like the one with Penn's face fragmented, suggesting the character has a personality to match. The UK banner with Penn in a goth overcoat, guitar slung on his back, looking silly with a roller case, heading down the middle of a deserted road in the desert under an odd green sky is way off-kilter, yet you feel a connection to the protagonist, you almost need to know what's up with him, why he's there -- you can't help wonder what the storyline is.

Very effective graphics. Reviews, on the other hand, have been mixed.

This from Peter Bradshaw:

For his technique, ambition and reach, 40-year-old Italian director Paolo Sorrentino is justifiably considered an emerging master of modern cinema, crucially nurtured here at Cannes. His new English-language film, This Must Be the Place – starring Sean Penn as Cheyenne, a retired goth rocker living in Dublin – has superbly elegant and distinctive forms: looming camera movements, bursts of pop, deadpan comedy, quasi-hallucinatory perspective lines in landscapes in which singular figures look vulnerably isolated. There's an awful lot to enjoy here and yet I couldn't help feeling that, when Cheyenne leaves Ireland to journey into the classic American midwest on a mission to find the fugitive Nazi who tormented his father in the camps, the film becomes derivative and Wim Wenders-ish.


For me, the Holocaust material was not entirely successful, though certainly transmitted with absolute certainty and sincerity. This Must Be the Place is not my favourite of Sorrentino's films, but it certainly deserved inclusion at Cannes, and deserves to be watched for the glorious Byrne moments alone.

Eric Kohn:

The issue with "This Must Be the Place," Italian auteur Paolo Sorrentino's first English language feature, has nothing to do with whether it makes light of the Holocaust. That might be a worthy debate if it didn't face other problems. Chief among them: An uber-campy Sean Penn performance, a gratingly quirky soul-searching plot, and character motives that barely make any sense. It's far too much of a godawful mess to merit serious moral scrutiny.

Jay Weissberg:

Paolo Sorrentino's coolness credentials are well established, but he's earned the right to be considered "cool" in an entirely different way with "This Must Be the Place," a film that brims with warmth, humanity and respect in ways one doesn't often find in the work of coolmeisters like David Lynch and Quentin Tarantino. Quirky, hilarious and moving, Sorrentino's first English-lingo production is a road trip of stunning scope yet deep intimacy, featuring an aged rock star-turned-Nazi hunter played by Sean Penn at his transformative best. The pic may baffle but is certain to generate massive highbrow press and long-term cult status.

Posters, stills and, to a lesser extent perhaps, trailers are all so visually original, so quirky, the story so nuts-but-still-somehow-real, I can't see how I can let this one slip by. Will have to check this movie sometime.


No comments:

Blog Archive