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Cannes Preview: This Must Be the Place Stars Sean Penn as Aging Rock Star

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 16, 2011 at 11:14AM

Sean Penn stars in Italian director Paolo Sorrentino's English-language debut This Must Be the Place, which will premiere in competition at Cannes. Sorrentino's masterful portrait of seven-time Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti Il Divo, featuring a tour-de-force performance by Toni Servillo, was compelling even to an outsider to labyrinthine Italian politics. (Here's Variety's review, trailer is below.) The biopic was a hit at Cannes in 2008.
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Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood

Sean Penn stars in Italian director Paolo Sorrentino's English-language debut This Must Be the Place, which will premiere in competition at Cannes. Sorrentino's masterful portrait of seven-time Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti Il Divo, featuring a tour-de-force performance by Toni Servillo, was compelling even to an outsider to labyrinthine Italian politics. (Here's Variety's review, trailer is below.) The biopic was a hit at Cannes in 2008.

Here's a first look of Penn in Sorrentino's new film. He stars as Cheyenne, a 50-year-old former rock star who lives off his royalties in Dublin and still dresses Goth. The death of his estranged father brings him back to New York, where he finds out that his father had been seeking revenge for what he had suffered in a concentration camp. Cheyenne decides to take on his father's obsession and starts a road trip to find his father's Nazi guard, in hiding.

[UPDATE: The film's producers asked us to remove the clip formerly displayed.]

This article is related to: Festivals, Video, Cannes, Trailers


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.