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In the Mood For Love

Hong Kong writer/director Wong Kar-wai's kinetic, Pop Art genre films (Chungking Express, Ashes of Time) have always had a heavy emotional core of longing and loss amid their surreal trappings of crime and action. In this 2000 effort, he dumps all the genre pretenses in favor of a straight-ahead drama and ends up with what could be his best film. Tony Leung (Hard Boiled) and Maggie Cheung (The Heroic Trio) star as two married people (although not to each other) who happen to be moving into a Hong Kong apartment building on the same day. Both of their spouses are constantly working, so the two end up spending a great deal of time together. Instead of passionately consummating their obvious desire, our protagonists engage in a subtle and sublimated dance of seduction, desire and longing. Rarely has abstinence been so sexy. In Cantonese with English subtitles. 98 minutes PG.