This Must Be The Place Blu-ray Review

Dressed all in black from his oversize hair to his tennis shoes, Cheyenne (Penn) a one-time rock star, now spends his time in his Dublin home, occasionally venturing out to visit the local mall. He lives off his royalties on his estate with his wife of 35 years, Jane (McDormand).  His eyes lined, his lips bright red, he is certainly a site as he walks through town pulling a shopping cart.  He rarely speaks, but when he does it’s in a soft, halting tone.  He hasn’t played music in 20 years.  He’s hiding a secret.  He will also soon learn that others close to him are holding secrets as well.

This Must Be the Place

Well acted but confusing as heck, THIS MUST BE THE PLACE is a film that has a message about love, fathers and sons, redemption and…I have no idea.  I told you it was confusing.  We learn a lot about Cheyenne from others.  He was big in the 80s.  Until (2) young fans killed themselves.  Now he seems to have separated himself from life, except for those moments home with Jane.  Still, he occasionally ponders a puzzler, such as “Why is Lady Gaga?”  When he learns his father is close to death he travels home to the states.  There he uncovers a mysterious project his father had been working on for years.  It seems Cheyenne’s pop was a Holocaust Survivor and had been tracking, for years, a guard from a concentration camp that at one time humiliated him.  Cheyenne is introduced to Mordecai Midler (Judd Hirsch), a preeminent Nazi hunter who had been in contact with Cheyenne’s father.  He’s not interested in helping Cheyenne so he heads out across the country to track down the man his father could never find.  Think of the movie as one of those cool mash-ups:  EDWARD SCISSORHANDS:  NAZI HUNTER.

This Must Be the Place

Penn, with two Oscars at home, has nothing to prove acting wise.  I have no idea why he took this part.  He does have a couple of dramatic monologues interspliced within his mumbling, giving the film occasional life.  McDormand is equally good.  When the two are sharing the screen the film, in relation to Cheyenne and Jane, begins to make sense.  It’s when Cheyenne is setting up a fan with a beau or chatting up his randy, oversexed friend that the focus begins to fall.  Which is a shame because the actors seem to be really trying.  Besides Penn and McDormand you get very strong work from Stanton, Hirsch, Joyce Van Patten and musician David Byrne (Talking Heads) as himself.  The story, as it was, is layered in too much symbolism to care about any of the characters.  Also, the things Cheyenne encounters, most notably a wandering buffalo, who pays a visit to the back porch while Cheyenne is crossing America.

BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video:  The transfer is clear and bright, making great use of the various places Cheyenne inhabits (Ireland, the American heartland).  Presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio.

Audio:  Recorded in DTS Master Audio 5.1  The sound is well transferred and not overdone.  Even when Cheyenne is talking at his softest his words are clear.

Trailers for other Mirimax Films, including SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

OVERALL 2.5
VERDICT:
    MOVIE REVIEW
    BLU-RAY REVIEW
-/5.0
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