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Worth A Look: 35.19%
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Sucks: 1.85%

6 reviews, 18 user ratings

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In the Mood for Love
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by EricDSnider

"So very good ... right up until the end. I hate when that happens."
3 stars

Kar-wai Wong's "In the Mood for Love" is an evocative love story that collapses at the end but remains pretty well focused up to that point.

The setting is Hong Kong, 1962, at a boarding house. Mrs. Chan (Maggie Cheung) and her husband move in to the apartment next door to Mr. Chow (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) and his wife. Mrs. Chan is a secretary; Mr. Chow is a newspaper editor. Both of their spouses travel a lot, so they -- and
we -- never see them.

(In a neat maneuver, even in the few scenes where the spouses are present, the camera never shows them. We hear their voices, but that's it.)

Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan maintain a polite friendship; nothing more than a nodding acquaintance, really. Then they realize their spouses are having an affair with each other. Mrs. Chan is devastated. She and Mr. Chow, with whom she now shares a tragic bond, role-play how the affair might have started, and how she might confront her husband about it.

The obvious turn would be for the pair to become lovers themselves. Director Kar-wai Wong doesn't go that route, exactly -- but he certainly lets it become a looming possibility. Mr. Chow wants an affair, and Mrs. Chan considers it. Her ultimate decision is where the film runs into trouble, with an ambiguous, confusing ending.

The camerawork is excellent throughout. We often come in on a conversation unsure who's talking because the lens is focused on the speaker's feet. More than a few times, we think the mystery spouses are finally being shown; after a while, we learn to be wary of jumping to conclusions.

All of that's more than just a trick: It's an effective method of storytelling. Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan will "become" their spouses if they have an affair themselves. The deft camerawork is merely foreshadowing the possibility.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4905&reviewer=247
originally posted: 03/23/01 19:51:40
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User Comments

3/26/11 makmexico Truly a great work of art. 5 stars
10/19/06 William Goss Soap opera almost too slow, subtle for its own good. Well-acted & pretty, but not perfect. 3 stars
2/01/06 Reklc "He who desires but acts not...", said Blake, that's what this movie is about. 5 stars
1/04/06 Noami Absolutely hypnotic film. I am speechless. 5 stars
12/28/05 rk The tension of the unconsummated love in this movie makes it an exquisite spectacle. 5 stars
12/11/05 K. Sear A lot looser than I would prefer but captivating in it's own way. 4 stars
11/28/03 john a bi long winded at times but beautiful nontheless 4 stars
12/31/02 Andy Todes greatest film of all time 5 stars
9/18/02 The Bomb 69 hard to explain, very slow to develop but haunting when it does 4 stars
1/15/02 Robert Excellent film...story told through scenes and expressions, not dialogue-heavy 5 stars
6/06/01 Rico sweet,stylish,nostalgic.Reminds me of mom&dad during 50s/60s. Beautiful. 5 stars
3/26/01 nowak Moody, slow, stylish, claustrophobic 4 stars
3/23/01 stu55y Absolute must-see 4 stars
3/16/01 Spetters Very subtle, very beautiful in all facets, but also quite frustrating. 4 stars
3/06/01 Peanut I am in the mood for a blowjob right now. Oh, Deanna where are you? 1 stars
2/28/01 Deniz Selman best film I've seen in at least the last 2 years...perfectly shot, perfectly executed. 5 stars
2/08/01 Heather Beautiful, stylish, intriguing movie about a couple having a affair 5 stars
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  16-Feb-2001 (PG)


  29-Mar-2001 (M)

Directed by
  Wong Kar-Wai

Written by
  Wong Kar-Wai

  Maggie Cheung
  Tony Leung Chiu-Wai
  Lai Chen
  Rebecca Pan
  Siu Ping-Lam
  Faye Wong

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