Paolo Sorrentino — the man Vulture once decreed would save world cinema — is making his English-language debut with This Must Be the Place. And what a debut it is! Sean Penn plays Cheyenne, a retired rock star who takes his style cues from Robert Smith and his enunciation cues from Michael Jackson, and who attempts to salvage his busted relationship with his late father by leaving love interest Frances McDormand behind to track down the SS officer who tormented his pops at Auschwitz. For such a WTF plot, the trailer is smartly casual, peppering Penn's forlorn stares and jokes (Judd Hirsch: "You know about the Holocaust?" Sean: "In a general sort of way") alongside some really nice visuals (why, exactly, is there a giant bottle of what appears to be whiskey looming over a country road?). Via contractual obligation, it is now necessary to point out that Place didn't do great at Cannes, and early reviews are so-so (THR: "Eccentric, misguided and occasionally charming and sweet, this curiosity item with Sean Penn in one of his nuttier performances is unlikely to be embraced critically or commercially.") Off the looks of the trailer, though, it'd take a lot more than that to keep us away.
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