Review: ‘Three Worlds’

Worlds don't so much collide as politely bump into each other in "Three Worlds," a glossy, well-meaning but dramatically listless study of class relations in contemporary Paris.

Worlds don’t so much collide as politely bump into each other in “Three Worlds,” a glossy, well-meaning but dramatically listless study of class relations in contemporary Paris. Charting the protracted fallout from a hit-and-run accident that links an aspirational working-class car dealer, a bourgeois medical student and a struggling Moldovan immigrant, the thoughtful pic is somehow both plotty and inert, a disappointment from director Catherine Corsini after the tighter melodramatic pleasures of 2009’s Kristin Scott Thomas starrer “Leaving.” Without an equivalent international star, this one seems unlikely to fulfill the crossover promise of its title, though scattered festival play beckons.

Joyriding through Paris suburbia in a company car, hotshot salesman Al (Raphael Personnaz) hits a construction worker, but is persuaded by his pals to run. Earnest doctor-to-be Juliette (Clotilde Hesme) witnesses the accident from her balcony and calls the medics. Unable to let the tragedy go, she tracks down both Al and the victim’s widow (Arta Dobroshi), though her attempts at mediation turn unsurprisingly sour. The humorless, type-bound script doesn’t allow the committed actors much leeway; Claire Mathon’s widescreen lensing lends the proceedings more style than Gregoire Hetzel’s over-reactive score.

Three Worlds

France

Production

A Pyramide Prods. production, in co-production with France 3 Cinema. (International sales: Pyramide Intl., Paris.) Produced by Fabienne Vonier. Directed by Catherine Corsini. Screenplay, Benoit Graffin, Corsini.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Claire Mathon; editor, Muriel Breton; music, Gregoire Hetzel; production designer, Mathieu Menut; costume designer, Anne Schotte. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard), May 24, 2012. Running time: 101 MIN.

With

Clotilde Hesme, Raphael Personnaz, Arta Dobroshi, Reda Kateb, Alban Aumard, Adele Haenel, Jean-Pierre Malo, Laurent Capelluto, Rasha Bukvic.

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