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Marcy already reviewed Ang Lee’s latest, so I’ll limit myself to one point: Lust, Caution is continuing evidence that unsimluated sex is making inroads into mainstream films and more traditional styles and genres. Hardcore fucking in serious movies started out, of course, with the French (Romance) and pretentious art movies both domestic (Brown Bunny) and international (Battle in Heaven, 9 Songs). Then came Shortbus, which I consider a watershed movie because it was the first to successfully integrate real sex into a relationship comedy. Likewise, Lust, Caution, an otherwise old-fashioned spy drama with surprising turns, absolutely relies on graphic sex as a decisive element for both plot and character. The story simply wouldn’t add up if we hadn’t seen what happens between Tony Leung and Wei Tang during the NC-17 scenes. Lust, Caution opens today.

Se, jie. Ang Lee, 2007. ***