Tony Leung is one of Asia's biggest and best-loved stars. He is also one of its most versatile. In his acclaimed body of work with the mercurial film-maker Wong Kar-wai, he is as at home in the martial-arts world of Ashes of Time as in the Sixties Hong Kong of their international breakthrough, the dreamily romantic In the Mood for Love.
Able to make silences speak volumes with just his melancholy eyes, Leung became the ideal avatar of Wong's impressionistic style. Now teamed with the Oscar-winning Taiwanese director Ang Lee, the actor gives one of his strongest performances in Lust, Caution, subverting the good-guy image that he cultivated with Kar-wai. However, it is probably not Leung's acting masterclass that has been pulling in the crowds in Asia. More than likely, it is the film's seven minutes of graphic sex (although not in mainland China, where the scenes have been excised by the censor), the fleshy frankness of which has been generating shock and surprise ever since Lust, Caution's world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September.
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