In The Mood For Love

And the mood is everything in acclaimed Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai's sad, achingly beautiful love story. On the same sweltering day in 1962, newspaper editor Mr. Chow (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) and shipping firm secretary Mrs. Chan (Maggie Cheung) move into adjoining apartments in the same Hong Kong apartment complex. Both are desperately lonely...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on
Reviewed by Ken Fox
Rating:

And the mood is everything in acclaimed Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai's sad,

achingly beautiful love story. On the same sweltering day in 1962, newspaper

editor Mr. Chow (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) and shipping firm secretary Mrs. Chan

(Maggie Cheung) move into adjoining apartments in the same Hong Kong apartment

complex. Both are desperately lonely — his wife is always working late;

her husband is away for weeks at a time "on business" — but they remain

only passing acquaintances until they realize that their respective spouses

are having an affair. Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan begin spending evenings out in

each other's company, assuming the identities of the adulterers in an attempt

to "see how it begins." But the game soon grows more intimate: They practice

leaving their mates, then leaving each other. Only the watchful eyes of their

neighbors and their own sense of decency keep them from actually becoming

lovers. The film is both a memory piece of a particular time and place from

Wong's childhood and a sequel of sorts to his 1990 DAYS OF BEING WILD (in the

credits, Mrs. Chan's maiden name is listed as Su Lizhen, the name of Cheung's character in DAYS). But fans of Wong's earlier, flashier style may be a little

surprised by the restraint he and his long-time cameraman Christopher Doyle

show here — no frantic hand-held camera, no time-lapse photography, no

interwoven story lines, no fractured time frames. The film is slow-paced and

slyly structured around snatches of clandestine phone calls and furtive shots,

and it's extraordinarily sexy: The atmosphere is all cigarette smoke and Nat

King Cole songs, silk suits and tight sheath dresses. What remains constant is

the director's sense of the essential isolation of modern life; Wong continues

to be cinema's premier poet of heartache.

Anthony Hopkins, <em style="">The Silence of the Lambs</em>

15 Great Thrillers to Stream (And One Bad One)

Movies to watch if you want to have a panic attack.

Cristin Milioti, <em>USS Callister (Black Mirror)</em>

Every Single Episode of Black Mirror, Ranked

We found the best and the bleakest of them all!

My News

Sign up and add shows to get the latest updates about your favorite shows - Start Now