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360 (director: Fernando Meirelles; screenwriters: Peter Morgan/from the play Reigen by Arthur Schnitzler; cinematographer: Adriano Goldman ; editor: Daniel Rezende; music: ; cast: Anthony Hopkins (Older Man, John), Rachel Weisz (Rose), Jude Law (Michael Daly), Ben Foster (Tyler), Jamel Debbouze (Algerian Man), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Fran), Moritz Bleibtreu (Salesman, Peter), Dinara Drukarova (Valentina), Vladimir Vdovichenkov (Sergei), Johannes Krisch (Rocco/Pimp), Maria Flor (Laura), Mark Ivanir (The Boss), Juliano Cazarre (Rui), Lucia Siposova (Blanka), Gabriela Marcinkova (Anna), Djemel Barek (Imam); Runtime: 110; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Andrew Eaton/Chris Hanley/Emanuel Michael/David Linde; Magnolia Pictures; 2011-UK/Austria/France/Brazil-in English/ French/Slovak/Russian/Portuguese, with English subtitles when needed)

“Fizzles out with a terrible pat ending.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Noted Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Meirelles (“Blindness”/”City of God”/”The Constant Gardner”)and respected screenwriter Peter Morgan (“The Queen“) base the thriller onthe Austrian Arthur Schnitzler’s 1897 play Der Reigen, that was set in Vienna.It was first filmed by Max Ophuls in 1950 as La Ronde. The title “360” is derived from the circular story line, one that signals that everything in life goes full circle. Despite all the talent gathered, including the acclaimed director and writer and a well-known international cast, the film fizzles out with a terrible pat ending. It serves dollops of sleaze and tidbits of amorality in its uneven Altman-like sprawling storytelling of interconnected subplots of characters grasping for a better life. Its half-baked narrative and slender episodes are never engaging or emotionally fulfilling, nor do the bevy of facile characters leave us with a lasting impression during their too brief appearances.

It begins in Vienna, where ambitious Slovakian hooker Blanka (Lucia Siposova) is living with her trusted English speaking sister Anna (Gabriela Marcinkova) and has just been hired by slimy photographer/pimp Rocco (Johannes Krisch) to be a high-end escort, and on her first job is to meet a visiting married English businessman client, Michael Daly (Jude Law), in the hotel bar, but fails to meet him because Daly’s possible business contact, German salesman (Moritz Bleibtreu), is at the bar and he doesn’t want to be seen with the hooker to ruin his rep. But because of his inexperience in dealing with whores, he gets blackmailed by the oily German into doing business with him after the German becomes her replacement John and grills her to find out about Daly’s appointment. Meanwhile back in London, Daly’s sexy guilt-stricken wife Rose (Rachel Weisz), mother of his child, informs her demanding photographer Brazilian lover, Rui (Juliano Cazarre), the affair is over. Rui’s young Brazilian girlfriend Laura (Maria Flor) has also had enough with the tattooed stud’s infidelities and dumps him and immediately takes a flight from London back to Rio. On the plane she’s befriended by the grieving for his long missing daughter, the older British former drunk and AA member, John (Anthony Hopkins), and when a snowstorm forces a stop-over in Denver John hopes to make further contact with the much younger Laura but she makes contact before their date with a nervous just released from prison young sex offender (Ben Foster), someone desperately trying to maintain self-control over his sex urges, and cancels their dinner date.

In Paris, the subplots concern a devout Muslim dentist from Algeria (Jamel Debbouze) and his secret crush on his married Russian dental assistant, Valentina (Dinara Drukarova). She’s secretly in love with her boss and is unhappily married to her inattentive Russian chauffeur/bodyguard, Sergei (Vladimir Vdovichenkov), employed by the piggish Russian mob boss (Mark Ivanir), who takes pleasure in treating him like a dog. When Valentina requests a divorce, an incident in a Paris hotel between her hubby’s mob boss and the hooker Blanka impacts greatly the lives of both East European families.

The setup was fine for a B film, but the storytelling was inert.There was only one scene that seemed to work with grace, that has Hopkins at an AA meeting offering a from the heart confessional.

REVIEWED ON 12/15/2012 GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”