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HK Magazine Archive

“In the Mood for Love” is the Second Best Movie of the Century, says the BBC

According to the BBC's list of 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century, the 2000 film by Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai is second only to David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive."

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 August, 2016, 3:08pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 5:24pm

It’s official: The BBC has named Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai’s “In the Mood for Love” the second best movie of the 21st century.

Watch this iconic scene: The protagonists cross paths on a narrow flight of stairs, each surrounded by an unmistakable air of loneliness.

The film stars Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Maggie Cheung Man-yuk as two neighbors in 1960s Hong Kong who suspect their spouses are having an affair with each other. It’s a love story, but also one of betrayal, loss, time and loneliness. “Never before has a film spoken so fluently in the universal language of loss and desire,” writes LA Times critic Justin Chang, referring to how the film exudes melancholy partly by omitting elements such as sex scenes, whispered words and even the faces of the spouses.

The BBC polled 177 critics from 36 countries, mostly based in the US or the UK. More than a quarter of them included “In the Mood for Love” in their lists of top 10 films. In the final list, the film came second to David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive.”

Other Chinese films which made it to top 100 include "Yi Yi: A One and a Two" (#8) by Taiwanese director Edward Yang, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (#35) by Taiwanese-born director Ang Lee, and "The Assassin" (#50) by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien.

Here are the films that made it to top 10 on the list. Did your favorites make it?

1. “Mulholland Drive” (David Lynch, 2001)
2. “In the Mood for Love” (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
3. “There Will Be Blood” (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
4. “Spirited Away” (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
5. “Boyhood” (Richard Linklater, 2014)
6. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (Michel Gondry, 2004)
7. “The Tree of Life” (Terrence Malick, 2011)
8. “Yi Yi: A One and a Two” (Edward Yang, 2000)
9. “A Separation” (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
10. “No Country for Old Men” (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007)