In The Mood For Love


Criterion Collection, $39.95

DID THEY or didn't they? That's the lingering question after viewing Wong Kar-wai's lushly romantic tale of adultery in early-'60s Hong Kong (one of our top-10 films last year). Since the audience doesn't actually see Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung hook up after so much longing, lust, and hesitation (but presumes it happened in their garish red love hotel), the moment is ripe for inclusion in the deleted scenes on this double-disc package. It's there, but only briefly glimpsed through a rainy window further obscured with yellow venetian blinds. Even when Wong gives us what we—or his lovers—want, it's on his own terms.

In interviews and Wong's own making-of featurette, Cheung and Leung testify to the difficulty of a troubled, often-delayed 15-month shoot with a director notorious for proceeding without a script. "She tried to understand how the story would develop," says Leung of his co-star. "I used to tell her it's useless; [Wong] won't let you know what's going on."

Articulate and fluent in English during a 22-minute interview at Cannes, Wong avows, "We try to explore how people keep their secrets"—including on the set, it seems. He does concede, "I'm too slow." His commentary is sparse on four deleted sequences, a disappointment given that Mood's outtakes could probably fill several DVDs. Still, the print and music on the transferred feature are impeccable (no commentary here), with the colors and patterns of Cheung's form- fitting cheongsams being particularly gorgeous. It's an affair to remember.

DOOMED LOVE also informs Baz Luhrmann's '96 Romeo + Juliet (new to DVD March 12), with director commentary among its extras. The same date sees Zoolander, with Ben Stiller's presumably funny remarks and outtakes. March 19 brings more Baz—his '92 Strictly Ballroom also debuts on disc with commentary and one deleted scene—and Drew Barrymore providing the chat track to a beefed-up Riding in Cars With Boys. Also arriving are a special edition of Wilde (with Stephen Fry in the title role), Training Day (with Oscar nominees Ethan Hawke and Denzel Washington), and the underappreciated Donnie Darko (reviewed here next week).

Brian Miller

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