Thursday, October 15, 2009

Halfway House: In the Mood For a Nap

halfway house halfway through the day, we stop a movie 'bout halfway through... what do we see?

49 minutes into In the Mood for Love: a sticky rice snack and short nap

Mrs. Chan (Maggie Cheung) and Mr. Chow (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) are eating sticky rice, killing time until the coast is clear and she can leave his rented room. They haven't cheated on their spouses (who never appear in the movie) but they're obsessed with appearances
Mr. Chow: What would they assume?
Mrs. Chan: One can't put a foot wrong
...and with good reason, too. It's not hard to read their love, however languidly they try to sidestep it. Director Wong Kar Wai, his art director/costumer (William Chang) and cinematographers (Christopher Doyle and Pin Bing Lee) are also obsessed with appearances. The beauty of this movie can render one speechless.

In the Mood For Love just aches with longing throughout. Every time I see this couple I just want them to tear each other's clothes off and pretend they're in Lust, Caution instead. They're so painfully separated even when they're sharing a frame. It's a heartbreaker and one of the masterpieces of the decade.


Mike said...

Saw this link on an imdb board. The rates the top 100 movies of the decade and has IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE #2.

UncleVanya said...

This film is a miracle. And I still cannot go one week without listening to the original soundtrack. Every viewing leaves me godsmacked (in an athestic sort of way).

Unknown said...

I'm with UncleVanya, the soundtrack is magnificent. And the cinematography - by Australia's claim to fame, Christopher Doyle - is just sublime. I love how every shot is so perfectly framed, Wong Kar Wai loved to pen them in architraves, or behind bars.

And last but not least, what about those cheongsams! A dress at once so feminine and sexy yet rigid and claustrophobic.

Yes, yes, I heart this film.

Arkaan said...


Timothy Griffiths said...

One of my favorite movies of all time. I own the Criterion Collection.

Only recently, I watched Chungking Express again (which I have on Criterion Blu-Ray) and I think maybe that's the best Wong Kar-Wai film. Faye Wong is joyous, Brigitte Lin is mysterious and strange and exciting, straight out of film noir, the colors and the camerawork are flashy and exciting, it's funny, it's heart-rending, it makes you feel good, and it has gorgeous Tony Leung in it. What is there not to like?

Chungking Express... I think might be slightly superior to ITMFL (which is also amazing).

Happy Together is great too.

OK I'll stop now.

Wayne B said...

It's been five years since I've seen this one but Maggie Cheung's face during their last scene together has been seared into my memory. How could she miss out on a Best Actress nomination?


worse than no best actress nod: the movie didn't even get nominated for best foreign film (yes it was submitted). They had 50 or so films to choose from and that wasn't a shortlister?