In the Mood for Love (France/Hong Kong; 98min.)

directed by: Wong Kar-Wai
starring: Tony Leung; Maggie Cheung
Diane says: IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, directed by Wong Kar-Wai, is the story of two Hong Kong neighbors who seek solace in each other because their spouses are absent. I loved the look of this movie: lots of deep colors, most of the shots are in very cramped spaces, many shots take a character's torso as their unusual starting point. In one scene, in lieu of dialogue and alternating close-ups of the two actors, you see alternating shots of their two dinner plates--kind of a dialogue between the dinners. Although on one level nothing happens, there's a lot going on in and between these two characters. There are some really neat jarring episodes, too, that take you by surprise (less so if you've read this, tho!). I'll be nom'ing it for cinematography. And I love Maggie Cheung's dresses: find a style you look good in and wear it to death!"
Howard says: "Hmmm, I'm hungry. Could they eat anymore in the film? All those yummy Chinese noodles and soups and kitschy dinnerware! Ok, seriously, I really liked this one. My friends complained that the movie didn't go anywhere, but the movie wasn't about plot. It's about the emotions that people go through when their spouses are cheating on them. Very well done. I love the cinematography and the colors. I loved the way it was shot in tight spaces to show you just how crowded their apartments were. My favorite is how Kar-wai Wong used costume changes to show the passage of time. Wonderfully done. Both leads were fantastic with Maggie Cheung really standing out especially in those outfits! She is also very beautiful. My favorite scene is when Chow is tell Su that he is going out of the country on assignment. I won't give it away, but I did start to cry at this very powerful moment."
Laura says: "This heartbreaking tale of unrequited (or is it?) love is an elegant romance for the ages and a masterpiece of its genre. Kar-wai's cinematographers Christopher Doyle (DAYS OF BEING WILD, ASHES OF TIME, FALLEN ANGELS) and Mark Li Ping-bin (FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI) brilliantly set their camera as an interloper viewing his subjects on the sly, creeping along halls and from behind objects. Slow motion is used several times to underline the melancholy aspects of the moment. The cheating spouses are shown in shadow, from behind, or via obstructed view. " 5 cats
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Michael says: This amazing film by Wong Kar-Wai tells the tale of two neighbors living in Hong Kong in the '60's. As the story unfolds, the two come to the realization that their respective spouses are having an affair. The piece is so evocative of both mood and time, with gorgeous costumes, foggy streets, rendezvous in the rain and two achingly beautiful leads. Not too much plot to speak of, but with a mood so effective, who needs one?"

Second viewing: "Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung turn in gorgeous performances (in every sense of the word) but Cheung particularly impressed me this time around. That could be because hers is the more outward performance, and Leung's is more internal. They are both possible acting nominees.

The cinematography was outstanding. Not only is this a beautiful film, but each and every camera angle is chosen with utmost care and precision. Slow motion and digitization effects are used to great effect. The care taken with the visuals of this movie are incredible.

Those dresses... about 15 of them, some repeated more than once... exquisite.

And I want to get noodles in a thermos." 5 cats

Nathaniel says: "The best movie I've seen this year so far is IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE. I know I'm catching that late since it played at several festival type events but it just hit its real theatrical run here in NYC a month ago and god, it was beautiful."
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Robin says: "There are other pluses to the film besides the marvelous performances by Cheung and Leung. The screenplay, by the director, is simple, with just two characters - the sneaking spouses are never shown, just heard off camera or seen from behind - but is lush in its emotional appeal. I, the viewer, want Chow and Mrs. Chan to be together and feel the anguish at every missed opportunity. There is fine attention to detail, especially when they rehearse what each will say to their respective spouses about the affair. In one practice session, Chow play-acts Mrs. Chan's husband as she confronts him about his infidelity. The seen concentrates on Chow, camera behind him, as he noisily eats, playing the crude buffoon while his "wife" challenges him. The play-acting become important to Chow and Mrs. Chan as the game binds them even more closely. "
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Tim says: "I guess the reason for me not LOVING this movie is because it wasn't what I was looking for. The movie LOOKED wonderful, and every visual aspect of it I felt was perfect. In fact, everything I saw drew me in more and more. I had trouble with the calmness of the movie. The pace of the movie was great, but I couldn't really get involved with the characters when they were talking. I guess it was a case where actions spoke louder than words. I was totally engrossed by the nonverbal parts of the movie, and almost not interested in many of the scenes with dialogue between the two main characters. All that said, I thought it was a pretty excellent film."