360Feature Film | Fernando Meirelles By Josh Ralske
Slick direction and competent cast can't overcome a trite script.
For a movie that takes inspiration from a famous Yogi Berra malapropism ("If you come to a fork in the road, take it"), 360 sure takes itself seriously. Yet another portentous multi-character international drama purportedly about "the way we live now," the movie could be easily dismissed if not for its provenance. Director Fernando Meirelles was responsible for the amazing City of God, and his subsequent films, The Constant Gardener and Blindness, were at least ambitious and compelling. Screenwriter Peter Morgan got an Oscar nomination for The Queen.
The international cast is quite good, though Ben Foster, as a recently released sex offender, should probably have eased up on the crazy a bit if we're supposed to believe that Laura (Maria Flor), a heartbroken Brazilian woman, would impulsively pick him up during an airport layover.
360 is about those kind of contrived connections, and the impact a slew of characters have on each other's lives, from an auto exec (Jude Law) who decides not to cheat on his wife (Rachel Weisz) with a prostitute (Lucia Siposova) to a driver (Vladimir Vdovichenkov) for a gangster who strikes up an impromptu friendship with the prostitute's younger sister (Gabriela Marcinkova). Anthony Hopkins plays a father whose daughter has been missing for years. He has a lengthy monologue about the importance of...seizing the day.
Meirelles' style is distractingly flashy, with split screens and match-dissolves and the like, and his slickness only exacerbates the essential banality of Morgan's disappointing script. A wise man once said, when you come to a fork in the road, see a different movie.