Looking like Edward Scissorhands and speaking like a sedated old woman, Sean Penn plays a depressive former rock star who leaves his secluded life in Dublin to visit his dying father in New York and hunt down the Nazi officer who once tormented the old man in Auschwitz. Using the Holocaust as window dressing for a comic road movie is questionable, but Italian writer-director Paolo Sorrentino (Il Divo) handles the story with surprising thoughtfulness. His real subject is how to live happily while acknowledging the horrors of the world, and if you can accept the premise, there's plenty to appreciate here, including some clever sight gags, a quirky view of the American landscape, and Frances McDormand's moving performance as Penn's firefighter wife. David Byrne wrote the music and contributes a cameo as himself.
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Producer: Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima, Andrea Occhipinti, Ron Bozman and Viola Prestieri
Cast: Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch, Eve Hewson, Kerry Condon, Harry Stanton, Joyce Van Patten, David Byrne, Olwen Fouere, Shea Whigham, Liron Levo, Simon Delaney and Heinz Lieven