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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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Film Review: This Must be the Place (2011)
This Must be the Place (2011). Written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino. The film starts with oddball retired rock star Cheyenne (Sean Penn). He lives in Dublin with fire-fighter girlfriend Jane (Frances McDormand), and seems to spend his time roaming the streets with his pull-along cart. He then receives a call that his father is dying. I was intrigued by This Must be the Place when I saw a still from the film showing Sean Penn channelling Robert Smith (from The Cure). And his character does seem to be very much based on Smith. In fact it's a staggering should-be-award-winning bit of acting from Penn. The story is an equally odd affair, which ends up in a road trip. It's rather slow paced but I found it atmospheric and interesting. There's a brief cameo from David Byrne (somewhat obvious title connection) which feels a bit disjointed, but then I'm not a fan of cameos in serious films. The cinematography is gorgeous, and there are some beautiful and imaginative shots. Cheyenne's mumbling was often hard to hear, so I had to go back and listen again. It is one of those hard films to recommend, but if you can cope with slow burning stories that aren't particularly mainstream it's worth a try. 4/5 (Good)