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In the Mood for Love (2000)
"Fa yeung nin wa" (original title)

PG  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  9 March 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 68,047 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 345 user | 198 critic | 28 from

Two neighbors, a woman and a man, form a strong bond after both suspect extramarital activities of their spouses. However, they agree to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit similar wrongs.



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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 43 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Ping Lam Siu ...
Tung Cho 'Joe' Cheung ...
Man living in Mr. Koo's apartment
Rebecca Pan ...
Mrs. Suen
Kelly Lai Chen ...
Mr. Ho (as Lai Chen)
Man-Lei Chan ...
Mr. Koo
Szu-Ying Chien ...
Amah (as Tsi-Ang Chin)
Roy Cheung ...
Mr. Chan (voice)
Paulyn Sun ...
Mrs. Chow (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Po-chun Chow
Kam-wah Koo
Hsien Yu


Set in Hong Kong, 1962, Chow Mo-Wan is a newspaper editor who moves into a new building with his wife. At the same time, Su Li-zhen, a beautiful secretary and her executive husband also move in to the crowded building. With their spouses often away, Chow and Li-zhen spend most of their time together as friends. They have everything in common from noodle shops to martial arts. Soon, they are shocked to discover that their spouses are having an affair. Hurt and angry, they find comfort in their growing friendship even as they resolve not to be like their unfaithful mates. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Feel the heat, keep the feeling burning, let the sensation explode.


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

9 March 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

In the Mood for Love  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£92,227 (UK) (27 October 2000)


ESP 125,406,499 (Spain) (29 June 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The 5th collaboration between Kar Wai Wong and cinematographer Christopher Doyle out of their 7 collaborations. See more »


At around 10:00, while they are using the rice cooker that Mr. Chan brought from his trip, Mrs. Chan's newspaper is inconsistently open/closed between shots. See more »


Receptionist at 'Singapore Daily': [picks up phone] Hello, Singapore Daily.
[into phone]
Receptionist at 'Singapore Daily': Hold on.
[turns to room]
Receptionist at 'Singapore Daily': Mr. Chow, call for you.
Chow Mo-wan: [hurriedly arrives to pick up phone] Thanks!
[into phone]
Chow Mo-wan: Hello?
Chow Mo-wan: [into phone] Hello?
[cuts to Mrs. Chan holding phone, she remains silent]
See more »


Referenced in Lost in Translation (2003) See more »


Yumeji's Theme
Composed and recorded by Shigeru Umebayashi
Courtesy of Emotion Music Co., Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

Nostalgic, elegiac tale of doomed romance
6 March 2002 | by (CA, USA) – See all my reviews

I think that New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell wrote the best one line review of In the Mood for Love when he said that it is "dizzy with a romantic spirit that's been missing from the cinema forever." How true those words are! Truly romantic films are so rare these days, while films that include plenty of sex and nudity (which are often portrayed in a smutty and gratuitous manner) abound. So, given this cinematic climate, Wong Kar-wai's latest film feels like a much needed breath of fresh air. In the Mood for Love is about the doomed romance between two neighbors ("Mr. Chow," played by Tony Leung and "Mrs. Chan," played by Maggie Cheung), whose spouses are having an illicit affair, as they try "not to be like them." But after hanging out with each other on lonely nights (while their spouses are away "on business"/"taking care of a sick mother"), they fall madly in love, and must resist the temptation of going too far.

Several factors are responsible for making In the Mood for Love a new classic among "romantic melodramas," in the best sense of that term. First, the specific period of the film (i.e. 1960's Hong Kong) is faithfully recreated to an astonishing degree of detail. The clothes (including Maggie Cheung's lovely dresses), the music (e.g. Nat King Cole), and the overall atmosphere of this film evokes a nostalgia for that specific period. Second, Christopher Doyle's award-winning, breathtakingly beautiful cinematography creates an environment which not only envelopes its two main characters, but seems to ooze with romantic longing in every one of its sumptuous, meticulously composed frame. Make no mistake about it: In the Mood for Love was the most gorgeous film of 2001. (It should also be mentioned that Wong Kar-wai's usual hyper-kinetic visual style is (understandably) toned down for this film, although his pallet remain just as colorful.) Third, there is the haunting score by Michael Galasso, which is accompanied by slow motion sequences of, e.g. Chan walking in her elegant dresses, Chan and Chow "glancing" at each other as they pass one another on the stairs, and other beautiful scenes which etch themselves into one's memory. The main score--which makes its instruments sound as though they're literally crying--is heard eight times throughout various points in the film and it serves to highlight the sadness and the longing which the two main characters feel. Fourth, Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung both deliver wonderful performances (Leung won the prize for best actor at Cannes) and they manage to generate real chemistry on screen.

The above elements coalesce and work so nicely together to create a film that feels timeless, "dizzyingly romantic," and, in a word, magical. In the Mood for Love, perhaps more than any other film of 2001, reminded me why it is that I love "going to the movies." And I guess that is about the highest compliment that I can pay to a film.

159 of 178 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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