Review: In the Mood for Love (2000)

In the Mood for Love (2000) In the Mood for Love (2000)

Exquisite.

It’s rare that a movie so often touted as beautiful lives up to its reputation. I am so late to this party, but I am absolutely, unabashedly on board: director Wong Kar Wai‘s In the Mood for Love is deeply, stunningly beautiful.

Understated storytelling, gorgeous costumes, hypnotic yet stark lighting, engaging photography, and its two devastatingly attractive leads, Maggie Cheung and Tony Chiu-Wai Leung. On all levels, the film is original yet familiar, romantic yet honest, richly textured yet austere, and somehow differently, at every turn, sumptuous.

Being late, however, means there is a treasure trove of material from and about this movie (not least of which is the director’s follow-up feature, 2046 (2004), which features ideas and material that didn’t make it into this film).

Video Essays

In The Mood For Love: Frames Within Frames’ by Nerdwriter:

Glass Distortion‘s supercut is a loving tribute to Wong Kar Wai: Color Obsesssion (via Nowness):

Behind the Scenes

An interview w/ Wong Kar Wai on In the Mood for Love (via Eyes On Cinema):

Good lord, these two – ‘In the Mood for Dancing’ (via The Criterion Collection):

Craft

For such a delicate, dreamy-feeling film, the photography is surprisingly crisp and high-contrast. In Depth Cine examines the tools and craft of In the Mood for Love cinematographer and regular Wong Kar Wai collaborator, Christopher Doyle:

Ending

Disclaimer for this one: In the Mood for Love is perfect in so many ways, including its ending. This alternate ending is included here merely as a curiosity, not as a must-see (and perhaps a maybe-not-see?):