Directed by Fernando Meirelles.
Starring Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins, Lucia Siposová, Ben Foster, Vladimir Vdovichenkov and Moritz Bleibtreu.
A look at what happens when partners from different social backgrounds engage in physical relationships.
360 is a fitting opening night movie for a prestigious international film festival such as LFF. Featuring narratives that take us to Vienna, Bratislava, Paris, London and Denver, just to name a few, this multicultural character cocktail has an intriguing taste.
The movie focuses on characters from all over the globe, in what screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen) described as “romantically multicultural” stories. We have Blanka (Lucia Siposová), a Slovakian woman who wants to make more money by becoming an escort; Rose (Rachel Weisz), who is having an affair with a work colleague; John (Anthony Hopkins), a man on his way to America to identify a body that may be his long lost daughters’; Tyler (Ben Foster), a convicted sex offender fresh out of prison and Sergei (Vladimir Vdovichenkov), a Russian associate whose boss gets involved with Blanka, thus completing the full circle of events and coining the title of this film.
Morgan says when he first had the idea for this film he knew he ”wanted a story that began with a prostitute and ended with a prostitute”. What we have in between is essentially a love story, however it features a hell of a lot of adultery. I have seen several films at the festival this year, each one featuring someone in a relationship cheating on their partner. Is that what people (well, film makers in this case) perceive to be true love in the 21st century? Or maybe people’s desire for one another and lack of self discipline simply makes for intriguing stories. In this case I agree with the latter but only because even the smallest of actions by one character in this film has an effect larger in scale on those who fall victim to the knock on affects.
Director Fernando Meirelles (City of God) said in the post screening press conference that he is intrigued by intricate details and how people can “look left or right”. He then used the example of Jude Law’s character changing his mind when he arranged to meet Blanka only to be blackmailed by a rival businessman. Had he not changed his mind, the whole film would have played differently, which highlights the intricacies of the storytelling. It is of the same ilk as the film Babel in terms of its global scope.
The screenplay comes together extremely well. In the press conference the German actor Moritz Bleibtreu said he agreed to his role in the film before even reading the script, such is Peter Morgan’s reputation as a writer. And Meirelles excels in getting the best from every actor involved, no matter how much or little screen time they have. It is a highly delicate cluster of narratives that you, as an audience member, feel can tilt either way at any given moment. A fitting opening to this year’s London Film Festival.
Jon Dudley is a freelance film and television journalist and his 17-minute short film Justification was shown at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.