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360 (Blu-ray Review)

1 Nov, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Street 11/6/12
Box Office $0.10 million
$26.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for sexuality, nudity and language.
Stars Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Ben Foster.

Multiple-arc storylines within a movie sometimes work critically (Magnolia, Babel), visually (Women in Trouble), and sometimes Crash (winning an Oscar regardless).

Independent film 360 from Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles (The Constant Gardener, City of God), cleverly uses the backdrop of travel, including airports, taxies and hotels, to interweave the myriad lives, infidelities and shattered dreams of seemingly disparate people who ultimately face the consequences of their situations — and actions.

Two Czech sisters (Lucia Siposová and Gabriela Marcinkova) cross the Austrian border with one plying the oldest profession for hopeful fiscal security despite her disapproving younger sibling. A “john” (Jude Law) backs out of a hookup with the sister when two co-workers attending the same auto show recognize the woman’s vocation at a local bar.

Of course, the john’s wife (Rachel Weisz) is hardly faithful herself back home, satisfying primal urges with (boy toy) photographer Sergei (Vladimir Vdovichenkov). A dentist (Jamel Debbouze) develops and unhealthy obsession over his assistant (Danica Jurcová) — the latter unhappily married to the driver of a womanizing Russian mobster.

Stateside, a convicted sex offender (Ben Foster) agrees to fly to Miami for alternative therapy. Stuck at the Denver airport in a snowstorm, he crosses paths in a diner with Sergei’s ex-girlfriend Valentina (Dinara Drukarova), who was set to meet a sad father (Anthony Hopkins) looking to find his missing daughter who is presumably dead.

While ensemble drama 360 offers scant moments of drama and happy endings, the film succeeds in visually capturing the vagaries of people consumed by their own despair and desires to be wanted — which in itself can be entertaining.

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