More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 35.19%
Average: 12.96%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 1.85%

6 reviews, 18 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Crazy Rich Asians by Peter Sobczynski

Meg, The by Jay Seaver

Island, The (2018) by Jay Seaver

Summer of '84 by Jay Seaver

BlacKkKlansman by Peter Sobczynski

Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days by Jay Seaver

Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds by Jay Seaver

Mission: Impossible - Fallout by Jay Seaver

Stripped to Kill 2: Live Girls by Jack Sommersby

Ready Player One by Rob Gonsalves

subscribe to this feed

In the Mood for Love
[] Buy posters from this movie
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
originally posted: 03/24/01 11:51:40
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

3/27/11 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
2/02/06 Reklc "He who desires but acts not...", said Blake, that's what this movie is about. 5 stars
1/05/06 Noami Absolutely hypnotic film. I am speechless. 5 stars
12/29/05 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
1/01/03 Andy Todes greatest film of all time 5 stars
9/19/02 The Bomb 69 hard to explain, very slow to develop but haunting when it does 4 stars
1/16/02 Robert Excellent film...story told through scenes and expressions, not dialogue-heavy 5 stars
6/07/01 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
3/07/01 Peanut I am in the mood for a blowjob right now. Oh, Deanna where are you? 1 stars
3/01/01 Deniz Selman best film I've seen in at least the last 2 years...perfectly shot, perfectly executed. 5 stars
2/09/01 Heather Beautiful, stylish, intriguing movie about a couple having a affair 5 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  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

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast