Self-indulgence has never been this beautiful.
Winner of numerous awards including Best Actor at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, In the Mood for Love confirmed that Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai is a major figure in world cinema. As passionate as it is politely discreet, his film takes place in 1962 Hong Kong, where neighboring apartment dwellers Mr. Chow (Tony Leung) and Mrs. Chan (Maggie Cheung) discover that their oft-absent spouses are having an affair. This realization parallels their own mutual attraction, but fidelity and decency ensure that their intimate bond remains unspoken though deeply understood. With a stealthy, eavesdropping camera style and a screenplay created through spontaneous on-set inspiration, Wong Kar-wai crafts an intricate, finely tuned platonic romance, enhancing its ambience with a kaleidoscope of color (most notably in Cheung's dazzling wardrobe of cheongsam dresses) and careful attention to character detail. Deservedly placed on many critics' top 10 lists, this elegant film should not be missed. --Jeff Shannon