2046 ★★★★½

Not knowing if this is true or not, this feels like Wong's most personal film, at least that I've seen--it has the trademark messiness of a personal narrative, the raggedness and occasional clumsy fit of trying to fit personal experience into a constructed narrative, and is explicitly about, among other things, the use of the creative process and fiction to distance oneself from and/or come to terms with their memories. This may be his LIFE AQUATIC (I mean that as a high compliment--and looking at my rankings of 2004 films to see where this might slot in, I HEART HUCKABEES is yet another film that came out that year that completes a nice little trilogy of films in that vein). Far looser, more playful, and uninhibited than IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, reflecting both the changed characters and changed times, and as a result allows for the actors to showcase a much broader range of emotions while portraying more complex characters and expands the scope of the picture significantly, allowing for much more context and as a result, in my opinion, more poignancy. As with any picture meeting the criteria I specified to begin the review, there are some bits that don't work (also something I've noticed in my personal reactions to the Wongs I've seen), most notably for me most of the Black Spider arc. There are also arguably too many false endings, but I forgive 2046 those, as they're fairly self-referential and fit in with the structure of working backwards toward the present and out of the past. I should also note that the classical music used here is maybe the most effective score of any Wong I've seen, and I've found them all to be exceedingly great.

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