2046 ★★★★

This is a rather audacious piece of filmmaking, a 60s period piece set mostly on a succession of Christmas eves, where most of the important scenes take place in a dreamy futuristic world. The structure is complicated, but not in a way that sacrifices either the atmosphere, which is incredibly rich, or the emotions, which are often overwhelming. It's just so carefully constructed in the way Wong Kar-Wai uses light, speed and sound to create scenes that feel multi-dimensional, enigmatic, somehow both down-to-earth and otherworldly. The cinematography is frequently too gorgeous for words, with the introduction of sci-fi elements bringing an interesting new texture to Wong's work. Furthermore, these scenes set in the future help establish the film's relationship with time, and how certain pains and regrets tend to stretch through time - this is beautifully established in the flashbacks to Maggie Cheung as her character from In the Mood for Love, but solidified by how Tony Leung's character reckons with these regrets within the world of 2046. It's a beautiful movie, one that I look forward to revisiting so that I can get a better handle on some of its more esoteric details.