3 NEEDLES (Thom Fitzgerald). 123 minutes. Some subtitles. Opens Friday (April 21). For venues and times, see Movie Listings. Rating: NN Rating: NN
Thom Fitzgerald 's (The Hanging Garden) most ambitious film yet offers three stories set on three continents. But don't think The Hours; the only thing connecting these stories is their theme of disease and blood, as well as Olympia Dukakis 's hypnotic narration as a saintly missionary in AIDS-ravaged Africa.
The director gets the most out of his gorgeous vistas, and some sequences are marked by National Geographic-style accuracy. But the funereal pace and slack script keep letting us down. The great performers ( Sandra Oh ! Lucy Liu ! Stockard Channing !) never get to do much and are upstaged by the scenery.
That said, it's almost worth seeing for Channing's hilarious attempt at a Quebecois accent as the mother of a porn actor ( Shawn Ashmore , a lot less buff than he will be in the upcoming X-Men sequel).