This Must Be the Place

Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Year Released: 2011
Rating: 0.0

What a laughable mess: a kitschy concept, a kitschy lead performance and kitschy deadpan 'comedic' bits all add up to a train wreck of a movie. A former rocker (Sean Penn) - who still dresses up in his stage get-up and talks like Quentin Crisp and wears lipstick and ghoulish face-paint - casually goes out to find a Nazi war criminal living somewhere in the U.S. and avenge his (Jewish) father, and along the way has unrealistic conversations with absolute strangers, none of whom think to ask him why he looks like a total mess. Penn's character never seems particularly motivated to 'avenge' his dear old Dad, but that's what the screenplay wants him to do so he does it: this 'journey,' the picture's telling us, is supposed to make Penn's character 'grow up,' which I find incredibly hard to believe (the ending is not earned). Frustratingly eclectic and never funny, this is an embarrassment for Penn.