IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE centers around Chow Mo-Wan (Tony Leung) and Su Li-Zhen (Maggie Cheung), neighbors living in a crowded apartment building in 1962 Hong Kong. Both married to people who are always away, they spend many nights home alone. The two make each other's acquaintance and soon find that they have a lot in common: Both enjoy martial arts, frequent the same noodle stand--and eventually discover that their spouses are cheating on them. (Mo-Wan's wife is having an affair with Li-Zhen's husband.) Hurt and angry, they find comfort in their growing friendship even as they resolve not to be like their unfaithful mates.
Wong Kar-Wai's seventh film reunites him with Leung and Cheung, who provide perfectly evocative performances as the two hesitant would-be lovers. A slight departure from his more recent films (in which he used hyperkinetic camera movements to reflect the frenetic pace of modern Hong Kong life), here Wong uses fixed shots and stages static tableaus to capture a lost historical moment. Yet the film is filled with Wong's unique style, with its lush pageantry of colors, sounds, and images. A thoughtful and provocative exploration of memory, tradition, historical change, inevitability, and love, this vivid period piece offers a rich cinematic experience.
Cannes Best Actor 2000 Tony Leung Chiu-Wai HK actor, NOT to be confused with Tony Leung Ka-Fai