My Blueberry Nights

By filming in English, Won Kar-Wei forfeits his crown - stars Norah Jones, Jude Law

Trending Now

Fontaines DC: “The most normal things become absolutely terrifying”

Previously published in Uncut’s February 2020 issue 2019 was a breakthrough year for Fontaines DC, with their Mercury Prize-nominated debut...

The 9th Uncut New Music Playlist Of 2020

Garcia Peoples, Songhoy Blues, The Pretty Things, Sarah Davachi and Bon Iver ft Bruce Springsteen!

John Cale on Jonathan Richman: “He created his own special reality”

The Modern Lovers frontman is profiled in the current issue of Uncut

DIR: Wong Kar-Wei
ST: Norah Jones, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Natalie Portman

In his native Hong Kong, Wong Kar-Wai built a reputation as a master of mood, spinning gorgeous stories of desire and yearning. His 1994 film Chungking Express, a pop-culture love story scored with The Mamas And The Papas’ “California Dreaming”, melted Quentin Tarantino’s heart enough for him to release it in the US, but it was with the intoxicating In The Mood For Love (2000), about a middle class couple conducting a chaste affair in the 60s, that he created his grown-up, romantic masterpiece. By writing Blueberry Nights in English and shooting in the US, however, the once enigmatic master has lost his exotic appeal: lines that seemed naive and charming in subtitle form now seem rather awful when spoken out loud, and his smoky, impressionistic cinematography isn’t enough to cover for it.

Part of the problem is the casting, and though Norah Jones makes a decent fist of her acting debut, this is largely because her character, Elizabeth, is so passive that not much more is required than a wistful gaze. Jilted by her lover, Elizabeth first finds solace in a Manhattan cafe owned by ex-pat Jeremy (Jude Law), but her heartache won’t heal and she sets off on a cross-country trip. The scenes with Law get things off to a wooden start, and a melodramatic vignette in Memphis with Rachel Weisz doesn’t really improve matters, but a final section in Vegas, with a surprisingly credible Natalie Portman as damaged, flaky gambler, finally puts some substance into this showcase of style.



Latest Issue

The Rolling Stones, Patti Smith, Peter Green, Gillian Welch, Black Sabbath, The Cramps and Sun Ra, plus a free Drag City CD