The Movie Waffler New Release Review - 360 | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - 360

Directed by: Fernando Meirelles
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins, Lucia Siposová, Gabriela Marcinkova, Johannes Krisch, Jamel Debbouze, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Maria Flor, Ben Foster

An examination of relationships told through interconnecting stories spanning the globe.
The central premise of "360" is an intriguing one, essentially "Love Actually" from a more realistic, and some might say cynical, perspective. Here, as in real life, not everyone follows their heart, for varying reasons. The story begins in Vienna with a novice Slovakian hooker (Siposova) and her wiser, younger sister (Marcinkova), spreads to London where Weisz and Law are a couple holding secrets from each other and Flor is leaving her cheating boyfriend to return to her native Brazil. On the flight she encounters Hopkins who is travelling to the U.S to identify a corpse which may be his daughter. They become stuck in Denver airport where Flor meets Foster, a sex offender just released from prison. In Paris, Debbouze is a dentist in love with his assistant but unable to act due to his religion. It all ends back in Vienna where Vdovichenkov, the bodyguard of a Russian mobster, makes a connection with Marcinkova which causes him to re-evaluate his life.
Screenwriter Peter Morgan ("The Damned United", "Frost/Nixon") seems more concerned with tying his stories together than creating believable characters. The women in this film are particularly poorly written and make some really stupid decisions. Foster's character is markedly mis-handled as he plays it in an overly creepy manner yet somehow Flor finds him attractive enough to take back to a hotel room. The scenes between them are laughable and resemble those moments from horror movies where a female victim mistakes the monster for her boyfriend despite the giant hairy hands massaging her shoulders. Foster is such an over the top caricature of a sex offender it's hard to believe he would be let back into society let alone end up in a hotel room with a cute and eager girl. Marcinkova is equally flippant, going for a drive with the most cliched depiction of a Russian gangster you could imagine.
The acting in this film however is every bit as good as the writing is bad. Hopkins steals the show, reminding us just what a magnificent actor he can be on the rare occasions he opts for a subtle approach. His monologue in an AA meeting is a masterclass in acting. I presume the scene was improvised as the dialogue is far more believable than the rest of the script and Hopkins is a former alcoholic himself. 
Overall the movie isn't worthy of recommendation but Hopkins gives us one of the best individual movie moments of the year.