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Perhaps the most universally acclaimed film of its decade, In the Mood for Love is a twenty-first-century classic; even when it debuted in 2000, however, it already seemed timeless. “This film is not verbal,” said Wong about the way it effortlessly captures an essence of romance and melancholy, as showcased in the lives of two neighbors in the early 1960s (Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung Chiu-wai) “in the mood for love,” yet too proper to act on it. “Everything is expressed through the body, through the people, how they walk, how they move.” The film’s physical grace is supplied by Cheung and Leung, both luminously attired in some of the most fabulous outfits ever assembled, while its mood rises from the camerawork of Christopher Doyle and Mark Lee Ping Bin, which lingers on hands, hips, and silhouettes, and all of the moments that could have led, but never do, to love.

—Jason Sanders

  • Year
  • Runtime
    98 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    Hong Kong
  • Director
    Wong Kar Wai
  • Screenwriter
    Wong Kar Wai
  • Cast
    Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Siu Ping Lam, Rebecca Pan
  • Cinematographer
    Christopher Doyle, Mark Lee Ping Bin