By Owen Gleiberman
Updated October 05, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

In Ang Lee’s painfully high-toned erotic drama, Tony Leung, as a repressed Shanghai government minister, and Tang Wei, as the student resistance fighter who seduces him as part of an assassination plot, have an avid sensual glow during their sex scenes. The rest of the time, this is like a ’40s thriller made sedate and gorgeous and remote.