Written April 03, 2009
Three internationally acclaimed directors (Wong Kar Wai. Steven Soderburgh and Antonio Mastriantonio) all contribute very different styles film for this bedeviling anthology thematically structured around the theme of eroticism. By far Wong's film (first of the trio) scores best. This is his territory, and a still hauntingly beautiful Gong Li plays his leading character, a nearly past her prime prostitute who has many clients but no long-term lovers. She hires on a young tailor to create her clothes and is instantly touched by his naiveté. The have a long strange connection amidst the very stylized photography that has become a Wong trademark. The conclusion to this cautionary tale of unrequited love is gorgeously poetic. Soderburgh's piece stars Alan Arkin and Robert Downey respectively as psychiatrist and patient. Nearly a one joke idea both performers play their part to the hilt and the ending is ironic and rather downbeat. The final segment is confounding as it is compelling!