Letter from an Unknown Woman

A gorgeously photographed tale of unrequited love, Xu Jinglei's adaptation of the 1948 Max Ophuls film is a visual and romantic masterpiece. Xu's version transports the tale from turn-of-the-century Vienna to wartime China during its revolution. Xu, an acclaimed actress as well as director, is the lovelorn Jiang, whose story begins in childhood when a mysterious writer (Jiang Wen, Red Sorghum) moves in next door. Through the turmoil of the war, their paths continue to cross, with her love the only constant. Shot almost entirely in interiors-writing chambers, bedrooms, and ballrooms-Letter is suffused in the moody browns of melancholy and fiery reds of passion, lovingly captured by cinematographer Mark Lee Ping Bin (In the Mood for Love). Winner of the Best Director award at the San Sebastian Film Festival, it is a lyrical meditation on memory, love, and loss.

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.