In The Mood For Love

If you are a fan of foreign movies, you should never overlook this wonderful mood piece from Hong Kong, 2001. The two enormously attractive leads are caught in a web of suspicion, loneliness and attraction that is almost palpable. They are both married to spouses who travel and for some time, they manage to subdue their individual suspicions about these spouses and their fidelity.

As time passes, each separately starts to add up the evidence, but doesn't like the answer. They worry about the neighbors (it is during a critical housing shortage in Hong Kong and their teeny living spaces are not necessarily indicative of their financial situations) and what they might be accused of, as many separate families find themselves living cheek by jowl in private homes. The rain, the noodles carried in the thermos, the gorgeous dresses worn by Maggie Cheung, the polite demeanor of Tony Leung, all add to the rich tapestry this movie weaves.

This is a treasured DVD in my collection, so I looked it up on line and here was one viewer's experience with the movie:

I was recommended this film as one of the best love stories ever told. And as I am huge fan of love, I bought the ticket and sat myself in the theatre. After 90 minutes I left the theatre with nothing but disappointment and the theme song as the only positive thing of the film. I was appalled at the story itself, that two people can love each other but be so afraid as to never act it. I just couldn't get past the language barrier and the cultural barrier. The second time I ran into it... I was in a different mood, no longer had any expectation ... and had more patience, more relaxed mind to "see" the film... and as soon as I opened my eyes, I discovered the love... the beauty of the film. I went beyond the language and the love story and saw the acting (not even for a moment did I ever feel like they were acting!) and the cinematography. The first time I heard a definition of what a film is, I was told that it should be a chain of perfectly balanced photographs (shots) and this is the film to match the description. Almost every shot has an idea behind it, and combined with the music... and the light effects... the result is just a masterpiece! And a masterpiece is just something that you must have in your collection of films.

I don't see it in the Seattle Public Library inventory, so I hope you'll find it in the on-line rental catalogs. It may turn up on international television occasionally, so keep an eye out for it.
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Here is a preview:
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