2046 | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Five years in the making, Wong Kar-wai's first 'Scope feature is his longest, most ambitious, and most expensive yet. It begins in 2046—almost 50 years after Hong Kong has been returned to China—yet most of the action takes place in the 1960s, and Wong uses his brief evocations of the future mainly as a way of poetically lamenting the past. Tony Leung returns as the journalist from In the Mood for Love, but this time he's more in the mood for sex and seedy intrigue (the title also refers to the number of a hotel room), and the romantic fatalism is so lush that you're invited to get lost in it. With Carina Lau, Gong Li, Faye Wong, and Zhang Ziyi; Maggie Cheung is around too, but only for a cameo. In Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese with subtitles. R, 129 min. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Music Box.

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