IMDb > In the Mood for Love (2000)
Fa yeung nin wa
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In the Mood for Love (2000) More at IMDbPro »Fa yeung nin wa (original title)

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In the Mood for Love -- Trailer for In the Mood For Love
In the Mood for Love -- A man and a woman move in to neighboring Hong Kong apartments and form a bond when they both suspect their spouses of extra-marital activities.


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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Kar Wai Wong (written by)
View company contact information for In the Mood for Love on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 March 2001 (USA) See more »
Feel the heat, keep the feeling burning, let the sensation explode.
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 48 wins & 33 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Possibly Wong Kar-Wai's best film See more (344 total) »


  (in credits order)

Maggie Cheung ... Su Li-zhen - Mrs. Chan

Tony Chiu Wai Leung ... Chow Mo-wan
Ping Lam Siu ... Ah Ping
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
Julien Carbon ... French tourist (uncredited)
Laurent Courtiaud ... French reporter (uncredited)
Charles de Gaulle ... Himself (1966 visit to Cambodia) (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Kar Wai Wong 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Kar Wai Wong  written by

Produced by
Ye-cheng Chan .... executive producer
William Chang .... associate producer
Gilles Ciment .... co-executive producer
Jacky Yee Wah Pang .... associate producer (as Jacky Pang Yee-Wah)
Kar Wai Wong .... producer
Original Music by
Michael Galasso  (as Mike Galasso)
Shigeru Umebayashi 
Cinematography by
Christopher Doyle 
Pung-Leung Kwan 
Ping Bin Lee  (as Mark Lee Ping-bin)
Film Editing by
William Chang 
Production Design by
William Chang 
Costume Design by
William Chang 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Johnnie Kong .... assistant director
Ken Siu .... assistant director
Art Department
Ching-Geng Chan .... props
Fung-San Lui .... assistant art director
Ping Lam Siu .... props
Geng-Wah Tang .... props
Chi-On Wong .... property master
Other crew
Tony Rayns .... subtitler: english

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Fa yeung nin wa" - Hong Kong (original title)
See more »
Rated PG for thematic elements and brief language
98 min | Poland:94 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

During filming, Kar Wai Wong improvised often with the actors, crafting the story and mood of the film as he went along. Originally, "In the Mood for Love" was a much more obvious romance film, with the actors throwing witty dialog at each other and engaging in several scenes of love-making. Eventually, the actors and director decided to tone the mood down to the more subtle version that was released in theaters.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Chow Mo-wan:Feelings can creep up just like that. I thought I was in control.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Lost in Translation (2003)See more »
Yumeji's ThemeSee more »


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138 out of 171 people found the following review useful.
Possibly Wong Kar-Wai's best film, 17 December 2000

It's easy to see why many people consider In the Mood for Love to be Wong Kar-Wai's best film. The toned down appeal of the film, centering on the studied view of a relationship put through an emotional ringer, is a retread into Happy Together territory but without the hyper-kinetic patchwork of jarring film stocks and hyper-saturated sequences that have become a trademark of Kar-Wai's films since Chungking Express. Like Soderbergh's The Limey, this is a different kind of curio for Kar-Wai; where dialogue and plot are forsaken by mood and composition in order to create a tale of two delicate lives in a seemingly confining emotional stasis.

It's a testament to the genius of Kar-Wai that he is capable to making such a simple tale so resonating. Chow Mo-Wan (Tony Leung) and Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung) move in next-door to each other within the same apartment building. He's a journalist who dreams of publishing martial-arts novels and she is a secretary at a shipping company. Their eventual coupling is obvious from the beginning but the pleasure here is the way that Kar-Wai ambiguously paints such a journey with his grand masterstrokes.

The key to the success of the film is Kar-Wai's use of the interior space, playing with foreground and background planes in ways that are similar to the works of Polanski. During the wooingly sensuous first half of the film, Kar-Wai isolates Leung and Cheung within shots in such a way that the second person in a conversation is never visible. Kar-Wai is concerned with environment and space here, creating a cramped emotional dynamic between his characters. It's also telling that Kar-Wai never chooses to focus on the physicality of Mo-Wan and Li-zhen's spouses. Their faceless partners are noticeably absent from the film, as they are tending to their own love affairs with each other.

This is not to suggest that In the Mood for Love is a confining experience because Kar-Wai manages to inundate his film with broad splashes of hypnotic camera movement and sound. There is one shot where Cheung's slow, sensual rise up a metaphorical stairway turns into Leung's descent down the very same stairwell; their movements perfectly compliment each other, bookending the shot and creating a sense of erotic duality between the two figures. Their souls have connected but they have yet to physically unite. The erotic displacement of these scenes is both fascinating and frustrating, as two star-crossed lovers reject physical consummation due to their humble fidelity.

Other scenes in the film are punctuated with brief slow-motion shots of Cheung erotically moving through her interior surroundings, set to Mike Galasso's hauntingly beautiful score. Cheung's dresses beautifully compliment her exterior space as she moves slowly through her surroundings. Her movements slowly build up to what seems to be an inevitable fusion between Li-szhen and her dream lover even though the seduction process seems to be entirely sub-conscious.

If I make it seem that these two characters are more like two birds unleashing pheromones on each other, it probably isn't that far-fetched of a statement. The tight bond these two characters have with their internal spaces is almost as intense as their relationship to the exteriors. The film rarely moves into an exterior space and when the camera does it is usually to peak through oval windows and symbolic bars that always remind us that these characters are like confined animals. Kar-Wai continues to tease us even when the lovers get close enough to touch, shattering the couple's proximity to each other by shooting them through mirrors or through gaps within articles of clothing located inside of a closet. Mother Nature even seems to respond to their love lust, often unleashing a soft crest of rain over the characters after their bodies have glided near each other.

Kar-Wai's hauntingly atmospheric shots of a waterfall allowed Leung's Lai Yu-Fai to experience a cathartic release in Happy Together, even if Leslie Cheung's Ho Po-wing was not there to enjoy it with him. By that film's end, love was so inextricably bound to the act of war that a third man's muted declarations of love signaled Yu-Fai's realization that his dreams of seeing a waterfall would bring him inner peace, even if it would not bring him back his lover. Mo-Wan's journey terminates within the confines of a crumbling temple. His own emotional depletion is paralleled nicely with the political climate of his country, and the absence of Li-szhen is only made tolerable by the fact that Kar-Wai allows Mo-Wan to experience a release of sorts. Mo-Wan caters to an ancient myth and his secretive release into a crack in the temple leaves him capable of living his days with the hope that all his loss and heartache somehow served a higher purpose.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for In the Mood for Love (2000)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
What makes it appealing to non-Cantonese viewers? jerry4444
This is the coldest romantic movie I ever seen, that's not romance!!!!!! flaviostiavetti
soundtrack song- who sings it? clark_kent_10
the dresses KingKhan1389
Did anyone else fall asleep during this film? owen_t_robinson
The second most realistic romance movie mcbutterycrumpet
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