• Jamie Morris

Weekend Pick: In the Mood for Love

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

We’re following a previous pick of Wong Kar-wai’s Fallen Angels with the director’s finest work, In the Mood for Love.

Frequently named among the greatest films of the 21st Century, Wong’s masterpiece is an achingly poignant story of short-lived companionship born out of shared heartbreak.

Hong Kong cinema icons Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung co-star as neighbours who learn that their spouses are having an affair together – determined to keep the moral high-ground, the two agree to keep their relationship platonic, but their feelings grow stronger as they find solace in each other’s company.

There’s no grand confession scene, nor an eloping finale. Fully aware of their feelings for each other but powerless to sever existing ties, their story is instead a requiem for a love that never was.

Leung and Cheung’s expertly restrained performances are elevated by unparalleled cinematography from Christopher Doyle, accompanied by similarly beautiful costume design and music.

Breathtaking in the moment and even more affecting in hindsight, it continues to set the bar for romance on film.