2046 (Two-Oh-Four-Six) (2004, HGK/CHI/FRA/GER) C-129m. SCOPE *** D: Wong Kar Wai. Starring Tony Leung, Gong Li, Faye Wong, Takuya Kimura, Zhang Ziyi, Carina Lau, Chang Chen, Maggie Cheung. Director Wong's conclusion of his trilogy begun with DAYS OF BEING WILD (1991) and IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (2000) may well be his masterpiece. A visual poem about thoughtful writer Leung, who lives in late 1960s Hong Kong and finds himself attracted to several women around his hotel room. He is concocting a science-fiction novel titled 2046 (also a room number), which stands for a place of longing, desires and love. No one, he claims, has returned from it once traveled there. Plot is minimal, but direction and cinematography create such a rich atmosphere that you will be hypnotized. Great score by Shigeru Umabayashi includes some excellent classical themes. Photographed by Christopher Doyle. Praise also goes to William Chang, who edited the film, designed the production and the costumes.

© Ron Altman