This Must Be The Place



Paolo Sorrentino’s (Il Divo, The Consequences of Love) intriguing and poignant American debut This Must Be The Place arrives on DVD and Blu-ray after a largely successful theatrical run earlier this year.

Focusing on Sean Penn’s retired goth-rocker Cheyanne, the movie plots a rambling course from the weary Dublin home he shares with his life-partner Frances McDormand to America, in search of the Nazi war criminal that tormented his father in Auschwitz. Along the way the kohl-eyed, child-like Cheyanne encounters a variety of weird and wonderful characters, while the majesty of the American countryside is beautifully captured by Sorrentino and his team.

A soundtrack largely conducted by David Byrne, Will Oldham and the Irish vocalist Michael Brunnock – performing as the amusingly named, and completely untrue – The Pieces of Shit – adds a serene, stoned lilt to proceedings, and marvellously matches the mood of the subject matter. Byrne himself makes a gloriously odd cameo, performing the title song and then offering Cheyanne some sage-like advice, appearing angel-like bathed in light. It’s a scene that reminds the audience of Sorrentino’s strengths in subverting the supposed reality of a situation and blurring it in dreamlike fashion. It is also featured in extended form on the extra features.

The discs come with a good supply of extra features which cast further light onto this fascinating film. Interviews with Byrne, Sorrentino and various crew members (but sadly not Penn) are informative and entertaining but it is with the deleted scenes that fans of the movie truly strike gold. These – particularly the scenes showing Penn’s Cheyanne watching an 80′s music video of him and his band performing ‘Every Single Day is a Weary Wait’ (by Italian band Nino Bruno e le 8 tracce) in full youthful Cure/-style glory – give a better background to the character of the lead and help to clear up some of the motivation and emotional frailty of the character. All in all, a worthy home release for a memorable and truly unusual film.

Review by Robert W. Monk | Out now on DVD and Blu-Ray

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