This Must Be The Place is something of an oddity for me, because it’s a Sean Penn film that I actually want to watch. Penn plays the wealthy former rock-star Cheyenne – who looks an awful lot like Robert Smith, of The Cure.
Cheyenne, now in his retirement, is bored and jaded with life, and upon hearing that his father is near death, decides travels to New York, to ‘bury the hatchet’ with his Dad, who he hasn’t seen for over 30 years. However, he arrives too late, but discovers that his father suffered great humiliations while being held in Auschwitz at the hands of former SS Officer, Aloise Muller. Cheyenne’s father was desperate to take his revenge on his persecutor, and so his son (Cheyenne), will pick-up where his father left of.
As with any road movie – which this unquestionably is – Cheyenne will be awoken by the people he encounters on his journey, much like Bill Murray’s, Don Johnston, in Broken Flowers. But before coming face-to-face with his father’s nemesis, Cheyenne will have to choose whether he is seeking revenge or redemption.
This French animation A Cat In Paris from directors, Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, looks absolutely breath-taking and it makes a refreshing alternative, to the excellent, but now annual Miyazaki releases. Its European-ness also makes this a rather attractive proposition. A Cat In Paris weaves together a tale about a cat by the name of Dino who leads a double life. During the day he lives with Zoe, a little girl who lives with her mother, Jeanne. Unknown to mother and daughter, by night, their cat works with a notorious cat burglar, Nico, an acrobatic burglar with style, grace and a very big heart.
However, Dino’s worlds collide when Zoe decides to follow her cat on his nocturnal adventures – and falls into the hands of local thug, Victor Costa. So Dino and Nico have no choice, but to team-up and rescue, Zoe, from the thieves clutches. This stylish animation has obvious nods to classic noir fiction, but also the humour and wit of the Pink Panther animations – definitely not to be missed.
In Le Harve, this warm-hearted portrait of the French harbour city, Aki Kaurismäki, director of, The Man Without a Past, returns to tell the story of a young African refugee, Idrissa, who runs into the path of Marcel Marx, who works as a shoe-shiner. Marcel takes a shining to the young refugee and with the support of his community, stands up to the local officials, who are pursuing Idrissa for deportation.
This has been described as a political fairy tale, which exists somewhere between the reality of contemporary France and the classic French cinema, of Jean-Pierre Melville and Marcel Carné. Whatever, Le Havre, certainly has bucket-loads of charm, and if the trailer is any indication, then this will be an absolute delight.