Director: Fernando Meirelles
Rating R. Running Time: 1hr 55min
Stars: Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Foster
En español | A gifted director-writer team is behind 360 — based on the ever-intriguing concept that we're all linked on the planet by fate — and that team has cast the film with some very big Hollywood names. However, the end result of this contemporary international ensemble film is much less satisfying than movies that take a similar approach, such as Babel, 21 Grams and Crash.
Director Fernando Meirelles (nominated for an Oscar for City of God) and writer Peter Morgan (also an Oscar nominee for Frost/Nixon and The Queen) take us on a tour, hopscotching through Western Europe, Brazil and Colorado, and, more importantly, the subways, trains and planes that connect us in our mass-transit world.
The story begins in Vienna, where a London businessman, Michael Daly (Jude Law), arranges a hookup with a Slovakian prostitute. That's derailed when Daly's colleagues interfere.
Meanwhile, back in London, Daly's unhappy wife, Rose (Rachel Weisz), attempts to break up an affair she's having with a Brazilian photographer. The photographer's girlfriend, Laura (Maria Flor), fed up with her boyfriend's dalliances, decides to return to her home in Rio de Janeiro. En route, she meets an older, recovering alcoholic (Anthony Hopkins) who is traveling to America to search for his daughter, who has disappeared.
A major snowstorm causes the flight to divert to Denver, where Laura ends up inviting a guy (played by Ben Foster of The Messenger and 3:10 to Yuma) she's met at an airport bar to share her hotel room, not knowing that he's a just-released-from-prison sex offender.
Happenstance is the main element here. A meeting missed by seconds, a look the other way — it all impacts a world order.
But, despite some fine performances (especially by Foster and Hopkins, though the latter's takes place during a somewhat clichéd AA meeting), the vignettes are all too fleeting, and the character's interactions too surface, for any of it to have any real impact.
Unfortunately, the visual experience is muted, as cinematographer Adriano Goldman (Jane Eyre) chose an overlaying gray palate for most scenes, perhaps in an attempt to unify them.
The only way 360 would really work, as suggested by the title, is indeed if the people, the places and the action came full circle. But a synthesizing color scheme, alas, just isn't enough.
You may also like: Anthony Hopkins in The Rite.