2046 ★★★★½

The link between the early portion of Wong's career of intimate slice-of-life romances and his more ambitious yet more regimented latter days. He traps many ideas about the romantic knots of nostalgia and creativity in the dense net of narrative ambiguities, but its cerebral tilt doesn't betray the pure emotive essence that drives the movie, even as it toys with, pays tribute to, and batters Wong's personal legacy. It may be one of the most complex romantic films of all time, pairing the abstract emotionality of The Double Life of Veronique with the volatile passions of Godard's Contempt. It's fleeting, challenging, postmodern, and profoundly sad, and I've rarely felt so conflicted about a movie; I think that means it's special.