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This Must Be the Place(2011)
Cheyenne, a wealthy former rock star, now bored and jaded in his retirement embarks on a quest to find his father's persecutor, an ex-Nazi war criminal now hiding out in the U.S. Learning his father is close to death, he travels to New York in the hope of being reconciled with him during his final hours, only to arrive too late. Having been estranged for over 30 years, it is only now in death that he learns the true extent of his father's humiliation in Auschwitz at the hands of former SS Officer Aloise Muller - an event he is determined to avenge. So begins a life-altering journey across the heartland of America to track down and confront his father's nemesis. As his quest unfolds, Cheyenne is reawakened by the people he encounters and his journey is transformed into one of reconciliation and self discovery.
For more about This Must Be the Place and the This Must Be the Place Blu-ray release, see This Must Be the Place Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on March 23, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch, Kerry Condon, Harry Dean Stanton, Joyce Van Patten
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
» See full cast & crew
This Must Be the Place Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, March 23, 2013
Italian director Paolo Sorentino's "This Must Be the Place" (2011) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment/The Weinstein Company. Unfortunately, there are no supplemental features on this release. In English, with optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles for the main feature. Region-A "locked".
Italian director Paolo Sorrentino's latest film tells the story of a 50-year-old retired Goth rocker living in Dublin who looks a lot like Robert Smith from the legendary The Cure. Cheyenne (Sean Penn, 21 Grams) has a wild black hair, wears plenty of make-up and most of the time looks incredibly sad. He is rich but does not have a whole lot of respect for money. He is also married to Jane (Frances McDormand, Almost Famous), who still loves him and does not mind his moodiness, but spends most of his time with the young and equally sad Mary (Eve Hewson, The 27 Club), one of his biggest fans and best friend.
After years of success and excess, Cheyenne no longer has any goals because he has accomplished everything he ever dreamed about. Drugs, alcohol and sex do not interest him. Now he simply exists - filled with sadness about the good old days when he was young and poor enough to be ambitious, and occasionally feeling guilty because of that young boy that years ago committed suicide after listening to one of his songs.
Cheyenne's life changes dramatically when he is informed by a relative in America that his father has fallen seriously ill and doesn't have much time left to live. Despite the fact that the two never truly cared about each other, Cheyenne quickly packs his bags and heads to New York.
But he arrives too late.
Before his father is buried, Cheyenne discovers that he was a Holocaust survivor. A close family friend (Judd Hirsch, Independence Day) also reveals to him that his father died while looking for a man who repeatedly tortured him in Auschwitz. The man apparently immigrated to America years ago, changed his name and managed to live a decent life. Eventually, Cheyenne's father tracked him down, but could not confront him. The family friend also tells Cheyenne that his father loved him dearly and often mentioned his name in front of his friends. Shocked and enormously sad that he never got a chance to know him because he always assumed that he hated him because he did not approve of his music and the life he chose to live, Cheyenne vows to finish what his father started - find the man from Auschwitz and kill him. Shortly after, he heads to the West, where the man was last seen.
Stylistically, director Sorrentino's first English-language film has a lot more in common with his L'amico di famiglia than with Le conseguenze dell'amore. It is slow and moody, blending plenty of black humor with drama, and favoring long continuous shots. The dialog is also limited but full of memorable lines.
Cheyenne's journey is quite fascinating to behold as it slowly unveils a complex character with a unique view of the world he lives in. (Those who appreciate the quirkiness of the characters that often populate Wes Anderson's films should be thrilled with him). The initial impression the viewer gets is that he is an angry rebel who simply refused to grow up. But when he speaks, there is never even a whiff of anger in his words. Cheyenne is a highly intelligent and painfully honest man who simply isn't interested in being normal.
Cheyenne's journey also gives the viewer the opportunity to see America through the eyes of a European director who sees beauty where most other directors don't – the country's desert roads, lonely motels and gas stations, and back alley bars. The final third of the film, in particular, is as stunningly beautiful and atmospheric as large portions of Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas.
The soundtrack for film was composed by award winning musician and artist David Byrne and indie rocker Will Oldham. Original tunes by the Taking Heads (the film's title comes from their hit), Gavin Friday, and Iggy Pop, among others.
Note: In 2011, This Must Be the Place won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2012, the film also won six David di Donatello Awards (the Italian Oscars), including Best Cinematography (Luca Bigazzi), Best Screenplay (Umberto Contarello, Paolo Sorrentino), and Best Music (David Byrne).
This Must Be the Place Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p0 transfer, Paolo Sorrentino's This Must Be the Place arrives on Blu-ray courtesy Anchor Bay Entertainment/The Weinstein Company.
Note: The UK Blu-ray release of This Must Be the Place, courtesy of Trinity Home Entertainment, contains the original Cannes 2011/International cut of the film, which runs at approximately 118 minutes, as well as the UK theatrical cut, which runs at approximately 111 minutes. This U.S. release contains only the UK theatrical cut of the film.
The high-definition transfer has been sourced from the same master Trinity Home Entertainment had access to when they prepared their Blu-ray release of This Must Be the Place for the UK market. I did a few comparisons with the disc that I have in my library and could not see any important discrepancies to address in this review. Detail and depth are quite spectacular, especially during the second half of the film, where Cheyenne travels to New Mexico and Utah. Color reproduction is also outstanding. Many of the panoramic shots, for instance, boast terrific lush colors (see screencaptures #3 and 14). Also, there are no traces of problematic lab corrections. However, I did notice the same light banding that is present on the UK release (see the the sequence where Cheyenne visits the old lady and has tea with her and her friend). It is not at all distracting, but it is indeed rather easy to see. Lastly, there are no serious stability issues. (Note: This is a Region-A "locked" Blu-ray release. Therefore, you must have a native Region-A or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
This Must Be the Place Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only one standard audio track on this Blu-ray disc: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. For the record, optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles have been included for the main feature. When turned on, they appear inside the image frame.
The film is complimented by a very diverse soundtrack courtesy of David Byrne and Will Oldham. The music is not intense, but dynamic movement is still very impressive. Various nature sounds and noises are also quite well enhanced. The dialog is crisp, very clear, and always easy to follow. There are no problematic pops, cracks, audio dropouts or distortions to report in this review.
This Must Be the Place Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Most unfortunately, there are no supplemental features to be found on this release.
This Must Be the Place Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The Anchor Bay Entertainment/The Weinstein Company release of Paolo Sorrentino's This Must Be the Place has very little in common with the one Trinity Home Entertainment produced in the United Kingdom. This release does not have the longer Cannes 2011/International cut of the film and is missing all of the informative supplemental features. Naturally, I think it is fair to say that anyone interested in This Must Be the Place should seriously consider the European release. If you could play Region-2 DVDs, I would also like to recommend purchasing the Italian director's The Consequences of Love and The Family Friend. Like This Must Be the Place, these are very stylish and very original films. RECOMMENDED, but only to viewers that cannot play Region-B discs.
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This Must Be the Place Blu-ray, News and Updates
• This Must Be the Place Blu-ray - January 23, 2013
Anchor Bay Entertainment and The Weinstein Company have announced the Blu-ray release of acclaimed Italian director Paolo Sorrentino's This Must Be the Place, which features an all-star cast including two-time Academy Award-winner Sean Penn, Frances McDormand and ...
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