Movies: 2046: A Face Odyssey

Beautiful women in rapturous close-up--count us in

Want to see a great kiss? There'sĀ one in 2046, between Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Gong Li. He stands her against a wall and presses mouth to mouth. He moves back, and we see her lipstick violently smeared. A tear courses down her right cheek, another down her left. It's an avalanche of a kiss; it has crushed not just her lips but also her heart.

Director Wong Kar-wai is an art-house fave for his slo-mo studies of Hong Kong's lost souls. But the secret reason for the success of his avant-noir films is simple: he's the world's most romantic filmmaker. His...