Lust, Caution ★★ Se, Jie 2007 (NC17)
Director Lee extensively expanded Eileen Chang's short story to create this broad epic of intrigue and lust in Japanese-occupied China during World War II. Wong (Wei) is a Chinese patriot involved in a plot to assassinate Mr. Yee (Leung), a collaborator with the Japanese. Once she seduces him, however, she begins to realize that she's in way over her head. Wei and Leung are both excellent, but Lee's adaptation goes beyond the original short story, and much of the early portion of the film seems unfocused, with lots of filler; the heart of the story is in the second half. Earned an NC-17 rating and a great deal of attention because of its extremely erotic and explicit sex scenes. 158m/C DVD . US HK CH Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Tang Wei, Joan Chen, Wang Leehom, Chu Tszying; D: Ang Lee; W: James Schamus, Wang Huiling; C: Rodrigo Prieto; M: Alexandre Desplat.