By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist May 9, 2011 at 1:23AM
If you hadn't already clocked it, the 2011 Cannes Film Festival kicks off on Wednesday night, and every day it gets closer we get more excited by the cinematic riches on the way. Our man's packing his bags for the Croisette as we speak, but the rest of us are making do with the clips and images that have started to leak out. The last few days have seen footage from Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" and Pedro Almodovar's "The Skin That I Live In" hit the interwebs, both looking extremely promising, and the weekend brought some video from one more of the starrier offering that'll be lighting up the South of France this year: Paolo Sorrentino's "This Must Be The Place," with Sean Penn.
"This Must Be The Place" is a little more... oblique at this point. We were mostly big fans of Sorrentino's last film, the politically charged "Il Divo," so we've been cautiously looking forward to his English-language follow-up, which stars Penn as an aging, Robert Smith-style rock star who heads out on a mission to track down the Nazi war criminal who tormented his father. Frances McDormand also stars, and she makes an appearance in this clip, as Penn's character bids her farewell before he goes to visit his father.
Penn's performance seems to be fairly hysterical and out-there (if you've ever wanted to see the Oscar-winner do the "Arrested Development" Charlie Brown walk, you're in luck), and it's typically lushly shot, but we genuinely have no idea how this one will turn out: the premise and footage so far seems to suggest such a weird meld of tones that, if any film at the festival is heading for a "Southland Tales"-style critical evisceration this year, it would seem to be this one. We'll obviously bring you our verdict as soon as we see it, but if nothing else, the soundtrack should be pretty special, being a collaboration between "Talking Heads" frontman David Byrne, who's also making a cameo in the film, and Will Oldham, better known as Bonnie Prince Billy. Also, check out a new pic from the film below as well.