In the Mood for Love ★★★★★

In the Mood for Love, to me, exemplifies complete and utter mastery of the cinematic language. Wong, one of the most kinetic of all directors find his truest work when he slows himself down. It is a thoughtful and gorgeous film in which everything is as it should be. Every camera placement or movement, every sound cue, every glance, is brilliantly orchestrated to fit together in sublime harmony. And not only is it a triumph of style for director Wong Kar Wai, but its cinematography, editing, and performances are nothing if not inspired.

It's two best scenes involve the characters play acting. In the first, Mr. Chow plays the role of Mrs. Chan's husband, as she attempts to confront him about his infidelity.

"Tell me, Do you Have a Mistress" she demands.

"Yes" Mr. Chow finally answers.

At this point Mrs. Chan slumps back into her seat, and fighting back her tears she says "I didn't expect it to hurt so much".

The next scene, later in the movie, is a rehearsal for their goodbye. Wong tricks us into believing, but we are brought back to see them embracing after Chow's fake departure. There is no pretense, no facade. Mrs. Chan clings desperately to Mr. Chow, crying into his shoulder. They are in love, but having decided not to be like those who hurt them, they can do nothing. These scenes are a kind of shorthand for the film in total. It's a film about the pain of not being loved, and the longing for greater love you cannot have.

Seeing this film fills my heart with so much wonder, and joy at what my favorite art form is capable of. It fills me with feeling i wish i could put into adequate words, but each time I see this I know I will never be able to. I love this movie. I absolutely love this movie.

Noah liked these reviews