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I'm with the vast majority of reviewers here. In the Mood for Love combines the most beautiful visual elements with a narrative of little action but much intensity.
Every shot, many framed by a doorway, stairs or foreground geometric pattern of some sort, has been carefully planned and colour co-ordinated, and taken with the sparing but repetitive use of the musical soundtrack, part of which is the matchless Nat 'King' Cole in Spanish, the result is a ravishing visual and aural expereince.
But this is no film that gives the impression of being a collection of great stills as, say, are Memoirs of a Geisha and Max Ophul's Madame De. There's a drive behind the love story between the two principals that works itself out in real time and in flashback; one of the intriguing features is the way that the possibilities of future emotional change are rehearsed by the principals' role playing.
Maggie Cheung takes the acting honours; she's able to switch from hesitant humour to deep poignancy in a flash. Terrific!
This was good film marred by the subtitles at times being impossible to read as they were washed out by the background colours. For example: white subtitles over a character wearing a white shirt made reading them impossible and thus some chunks of dialogue utterly lost. Otherwise a good film.