Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lust Caution

'Lust Caution,' the espionage thriller set in Japanese-occupied 1940s China, is thoroughly engaging and visually breathtaking, and did you expect anything less from Ang Lee's follow-up to 'Brokeback Mountain'?

Lee always elicits the very best from the excellent material he tackles...  He finds the cinematic truth and makes it utterly compelling.. Whether exploring Asia modern ('Eat Drink Man Woman') or historic ('Crouching Tiger'), whether gays in Manhattan ('Wedding Banquet') or in the 60s closet ('Brokeback'), whether 19th century England ('Sense and Sensibility') or Nixon-era Connecticut suburbs ('The Ice Storm').

Here's the trailer...

'Lust Caution' deftly balances suspense and character, and benefits from our innate curiosity about the exotic time and place...  We've seen dozens of European World War 2 resistance films, but none about the brave Chinese underground.   The sex scenes, ten minutes of full-frontal nudity, are perhaps the most passionate and convincing straight coupling I've witnessed on film...  They were cut when the film was shown in China and Singapore..  The female lead is brilliant in a difficult role - an innocent who must must seduce her target...  And the male lead is the ambiguous collaborator target, played by the brilliant Tony Leung.  

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