Lust, Caution ★★★★½

Expertly directed by Ang Lee and featuring brilliant performances by Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Wei Tang, "Lust, Caution" is a long and slow-paced but consistently engaging period piece that perfectly captures the era in which it is set, including details such as the fact that many people in the Japanese-occupied countries were forced to learn Japanese. The characters are well drawn and much of the communication between them is nonverbal. Not surprisingly, the cinematography and costume design are exquisite. While they may seem gratuitous and exploitative when taken out of context, the explicit and raw sex scenes are integral to the story and the power of the film. The only really violent scene in the film is disturbing because it is very realistic.