In the Mood for Love: Wong Kar Wai’s delicate film is a slow dance of chosen memories, projections, intentions; it both is and is not a love story. In any case, what it actually is is a hypnotic experience. Maggie Cheung, with her seemingly endless collection of cheongsam, is the figure of quiet and elegant dignity; to say she is alluring is an understatement and her performance also showcases her intelligence and sensibility. Tony Leung Chiu-wai, her co-protagonist, likewise gives a subtly rich performance as another abandoned spouse. This is a film of stolen glances and fleeting touches, and they both master this quiet and chaste dance. The major aesthetic choices made by Wong revolve around one simple concept and are perfectly supported by the cinematography (sumptuous work by Mark Lee Ping-bing and Christopher Doyle), editing (by the polyvalent William Chang Suk Ping), and blocking. Chang is also responsible for the beautiful sets and the unforgettable costume design. The use of music is also memorable, both the original score by Michael Galasso, and the use of Umebayashi Shigeru’s and Nat King Cole’s tracks.
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