Faa yeung nin wa [In the Mood for Love] (2000)

Faa yeung nin wa
Director: Kar-Wai Wong
Writer: Kar-Wai Wong
Cast: Maggie Cheung, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Ping Lam Siu
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 31.10.2017

Su Li-Zhen (Maggie Cheung) with her husband and Chow Mo-Wan (Tony Chiu-Wai Leung) with his wife happen to move into the same apartment building on the same day. Their friendly neighborly relationship changes though, when they both realize that their respective spouses have an affair with each other. In trying to figure out how this happened, they start to become closer themselves.

In the Mood for Love is a beautiful, deeply sad film that absolutely made me fall in love with it and then broke my heart.

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Yi dai zong shi [The Grandmaster] (2013)

Yi dai zong shi
Director: Wong Kar Wai
Writer: Wong Kar Wai, Haofeng Xu, Jingzhi Zou
Cast: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Ziyi ZhangJin Zhang, Chen Chang, Qingxiang Wang, Hye-kyo Song

Ip Man (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) is a master of Wing Chun kung-fu, looking back on his life. In the 1930s, his until then rather uneventful existence was disrupted with the arrival of Gong Yutian (Qingxiang Wang) – who managed to unite the martial arts from in Northern China, for which he has chosen an heir, Ma San (Jin Zhang). He now also wants to find a representative for Southern China. Ip Man is chosen to battle him, and by winning his life and the life of Gong Yutian’s daughter Gong Er (Ziyi Zhang) have become forever entwined.

The Grandmaster is a beautiful, beautiful film with great leads and I loved it. Unfortunately the plotting is a little weak. But it’s great to have Wong Kar Wai back.


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Beauty and the Beast

The last days brought a lot of cinema, and with it My Blueberry Nights and Die Fälscher (The Counterfeiters).

My Blueberry Nights was just wonderful. Wong Kar Wai did it again. I know why I love that guy.
It was cute, romantic (even if sometimes a little over the top – when Jeremy writes the postcards I thought “doesn’t he have anything else to do?” and the kiss in the end looked more uncomfortable than anything else) and had a wonderful cast. Jude Law was once not casted for the women chasing, perfect looking guy, which is nice, especially for people (like me) who don’t faint on the spot when they see him. Norah Jones had the sweet and innocent vibe necessary for the role (though I’m not convinced she could have played something else) and Rachel Weisz, David Strathairn and Natalie Portman outdid themselves.
An amazing movie. The only thing to question: The pie shown in the beginning – was that really blueberry pie? It looked as if it was too red and not blue enough.

Die Fälscher was very good as well, although where My Blueberry Nights showed the beauty of life, it showed the ugliness of it.
Karl Markovics – one of the most talented actors ever to walk this earth (not only in Austria. In Austria I would he say he’s the most talented) – was perfect in this role: Not a really nice guy, actually an opportunistic asshole but somebody who kind of grows on you because sometimes, he makes the right choices. The story is very impressive and doesn’t have the strong morale usually featured in WWII movies (ok, the Nazis are still bad and the Jews do have to suffer a lot but the people within this horrible system are not either good or bad, they are just trying to survive). I loved the clash of pragmatism and idealism (and that there was no obvious decision for either but you could decide for yourself – or not), wonderfully portrayed also through and in the actors and their roles (Markovics and August Diehl, who is only playing in good movies as far as I can tell).
I do believe it would deserve the Oscar it’s nominated for but – without having seen the other movies – I don’t think it will get it. Pity. But you should go and see it if you can!