Tom Petty has been using celebrities to get a more cinematic feel for his videos for years; two of the most memorable examples of this are Johnny Depp’s appearance as Eddie in the “Into The Great Wide Open” video, and Kim Basinger’s turn as the titular character in “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.” Now, he’s brought in two *really* big names for “I Forgive It All,” a video off of Mudcrutch 2, the latest LP from Petty’s pre-Heartbreakers band that reunited in 2008. The clip stars Anthony Hopkins, and was directed by Sean Penn.
The video primarily features Hopkins, as it begins with him recalling a traumatic childhood memory, then it shows him driving around Beverly Hills in a Chrysler, seemingly recalling the good times and the bad times. By the beginning of the second verse, he arrives near a homeless shelter, where he sees several people camping out in tents. This seems to make the point that for all the tribulations Hopkins’ character has gone through, there are still people who have it worse than him.
The video ends with Penn in a room upstairs in a soup kitchen repeating the phrase “I forgive” over and over, until he eventually shouts it. Throughout the clip, we see images of the American flag interspersed with shots of the homeless, which makes us wonder if the entity being forgiven here is a loved one from the past or our nation itself. Either way, it’s a powerful clip that ably represents one of the best tracks on a great album.