Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
Hong Kong/China/France, 2007. Block 2 Pictures, Jet Tone Production, Lou Yi Ltd., StudioCanal. Story by Wong Kar Wai, Screenplay by Wong Kar Wai, Lawrence Block. Cinematography by Darius Khondji, Pung-leung Kwan. Produced by Jacky Yee Wah Pang, Kar-Wai Wong. Music by Ry Cooder. Production Design by William Chang. Costume Design by William Chang, Sharon Globerson. Film Editing by William Chang. Cannes Film Festival 2007.
Following the international success of In The Mood For Love and the critical adoration of 2046, it could come as no surprise that Wong Kar Wai’s next move would be to break into the English market. It was a project highly anticipated given the combination of his genius directorial power combined with the star quality of the likes of Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, and Natalie Portman; the end result is, however, a major disappointment, with a terribly weak Norah Jones taking the lead in her first acting role (and boy does it show). She plays a young woman who is left by her boyfriend and decides to take a trip across the country, working in various eateries and meeting a selection of odd characters along the way. Actually, the people she meets are not in the slightest bit interesting, and none of the high profile actors in this film would have taken on such a dull script were it not for the brilliant artist behind the camera. Wong applies his elegant visual style to the proceedings, the colours flash beautifully across the screen, but the personalities are not as tangibly erotic as they are in his other ventures, and the use of a set screenplay by a director who normally works from evolving improvisation makes for a stale version of his highly superior projects.