I had a conversation with a friend recently about my favorite film of all time, In the Mood for Love by Wong Kar Wai. My friend shared with me that the color palette of his entire apartment was modeled after that of the film. I loved that!
In my humble opinion, it is one of the most beautiful and stylish films out there. I don't even know what I love most about it. I could start with the gorgeous color palette and art direction. The meticulous attention to absolutely every detail of every frame. The story is also achingly beautiful. It's a story about two neighbours (played by actors Maggie Chung and Tony Leung) who find themselves in similar positions under the most unexpected circumstances. It's not so much that they fall in love, it's in the quiet way that they did that makes the film all the more poignant. You see it in the awkward, tension-filled pauses. It's those long, quiet, smoldering gazes that bravely reveal both characters' vulnerability that truly give this film it's true beauty. The sumptuous score only helps to punctuate the mood and sensuality of the film. I must mention too that the costume design for In the Mood... is enough to make me want to cry! There were apparently 25 different Cheongsam dresses in all that Maggie Chung wore throughout the film (which is set in 1960s China). She basically had to be sewn into each dress, each one fit her like a glove. Every scene showcasing yet another jaw dropping, jewel of a dress.
Both leading actors played their parts with so much elegance, dignity and most of all, restraint. The story essentially explores each characters struggle with restraint despite their obvious love for one another. It's a film I could watch over and over and still find a new detail or subtle nuance that I missed the last time I saw it. I can't say enough about this film—a lot more than I could say about it's (overdone and unfocused) sequel, 2046. If you have not seen In The Mood for Love, please do so... NOW.
Still photos are from here
Film poster image from IMDB