34th Hong Kong Film Awards yesterday.


Since I’m having the whole Sunday at home yesterday, I managed to watch major portion of the annual Hong Kong Film Awards held yesterday. This is the 34th edition of the awards, which is equivalent to the Oscars from the West. My overall thoughts of the awards presentation yesterday can be summarized into two phrases; boring ceremony and boring results.

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The hosts of the ceremony are Gordon Lam, Jordan Chan and Miriam Yeung. This is a fresh grouping for hosting job, and they did it quite awfully. There isn’t any good chemistry between them and the way they delivered speeches or even funny remarks were awkward and unnatural. The ceremony that took over three hours long is also very dull and boring with lack of interesting segments or performances. The results are boring, expected, and bring not much surprise (except Ivana’s double win).  Hereby is the full list of nomination list with the winner in bold alongside with a bit of my opinions in certain categories.

Best Film

  • “The Midnight After”
  • “Aberdeen”
  •  “The Golden Era” WINNER
  •  “Dearest”
  •  “Overheard 3”

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Opinion: Didn’t quite like ‘The Golden Era’ to win this. I’m not into artistic film which is usually very boring, but manages to steal the heart of judges always. The judges should start to get away from being blinded with ‘art’ movie (especially the ones mixed with biopic) and to treat the other much deserving movies. I would prefer ‘The Midnight After’ for its distinctive direction.

Best Director

  • Fruit Chan “The Midnight After”
  • Ann Hui, “The Golden Era” WINNER
  • Peter Chan, “Dearest”
  • Dante Lam, “That Demon Within”
  • Alan Mak, Felix Chong, “Overheard 3”

Opinion: How many times do the judges want Ann Hui to win? I knew she is a great director but it’s time to reward other talented directors too. But I actually had no objection on her winning. She deserved this year. She is now the record holder for most directing wins in this awards. 

Best Screenplay

  • Chan Fai-hung, Kong Ho-yan, Fruit Chan, “The Midnight After”
  • Pang Ho Cheung, “Aberdeen”
  • Li Qiang, “The Golden Era”
  • Zhang Ji, “Dearest”
  • Alan Mak, Felix Chong, “Overheard 3” WINNER

Best Actor

  • Eddie Peng Yuyan, “Rise of the Legend”
  • Lau Ching-wan, “Insanity”
  • Huang Bo, “Dearest”
  • Daniel Wu, “That Demon Within”
  • Lau Ching-wan, “Overheard 3” WINNER

Opinion: Even Nick Cheung had won this twice, so it’s time for Sean Lau. This is his second best actor win. He deserved it. But for me personally, I think we should really get away from these typical HK actors line-up again and again (Andy Lau, Sean Lau, Nick Cheung, Louis Koo, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Tony Leung Chiu-wai). It’s time to reward other people who had contributed very well in the industry for some years too. Daniel Wu is also great and should be rewarded soon (actually Louis Koo first). 

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Best Actress

  • Sandra Ng, “Golden Chickensss”
  • Tang Wei, “The Golden Era”
  • Zhou Xun, “Women Who Flirt”
  • Zhao Wei, “Dearest” WINNER
  • Charlene Choi, “Sara”

Opinion: Everybody says its fight between Zhao Wei and Charlene Choi. Both are great. So, I have no issue either of them win. Hong Kong films nowadays are too focused on male actors with themes like gangsterism, police, drugs, martial arts/fights. Hence, there isn’t many films each year that can showcase great acting by the actresses. And Hong Kong should now really focus on pushing on their own actresses rather than relying on the ones from mainland or Taiwan.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Wang Baoqiang, “Kung Fu Jungle”
  • Lam Suet, “The Midnight After”
  • Ng Man-tat, “Aberdeen”
  • Alex Fong, “Overheard 3”
  • Kenneth Tsang, “Overheard 3” WINNER

Best Supporting Actress

  • Wai Ying-hung, “The Midnight After”
  • Ivana Wong, “Golden Chickensss” WINNER
  • Hao Lei, “The Golden Era”
  • Fiona Sit, “Girls”
  • Nina Paw Hee-ching, “Insanity”

Opinion: I’m fine with Ivana being awarded best newcomer. But now, a best supporting actress for her is too fast. Two awards in a year. She is good, and I can see improvement and potential in her acting, but it’s just too much and I don’t find it right. I prefer Wai Ying-hung or Nina Paw or even Fiona to win this rather than her. Have seen her in ‘Golden Chickenss’. Really nothing outstanding. Just a simple funny character and it’s easy to tackle. 

Best New Performer

  • Ivana Wong, “Delete My Love”
  • Ivana Wong, “Break Up 100”
  • Ivana Wong, “Golden Chickensss” WINNER
  • Jacky Cai, “Aberdeen”
  • Candy Cheung, “Dot 2 Dot”

Opinion: Ivana, Ivana and Ivana. Must be her. 

Best Cinematography

  • Zhao Fei, “The Crossing, Part 1”
  • Lam Wah-tsuen, “The Midnight After”
  • Wang Yu, “The Golden Era” WINNER
  • Ng Kai-ming, “Rise of the Legend”
  • Anthony Pun, “Overheard 3”

Best Film Editing

  • David Wu, “The Crossing, Part 1” WINNER
  • Manda Wai, “The Golden Era”
  • Cheung Ka-fai, Tang Man-to, “Rise of the Legend”
  • Patrick Tam Ka-ming, Curran Pang, “That Demon Within”
  • Curran Pang, “Overheard 3”

Best Art Direction

  • Horace Ma, “The Crossing, Part 1”
  • Man Lim-chung, “Aberdeen”
  • Zhao Hai, “The Golden Era” WINNER
  • Pater Wong, “Rise of the Legend”
  • Man Lim-chung, “Overheard 3”

Best Costume and Make Up Design

  • Chen Tongxun, “The Crossing, Part 1”
  • William Chang, Kenneth Yee Chung-man, Guo Pei, Lee Pik-kwan, “The Monkey King”
  • Man Lim-chung, “The Golden Era” WINNER
  • Boey Wong, “Rise of the Legend”
  • Man Lim-chung, “Overheard 3”

Best Action Choreography

  • Donnie Yen, Stephen Tung-wai, Yuen Bun, Yan Hua, “Kung Fu Jungle” WINNER
  • Ku Huen Chiu, “The Four 3”
  • Stephen Tung Wai, “The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom”
  • Yuen Wo-ping, “Once Upon a Time in Shanghai”
  • Corey Yuen, “Rise of the Legend”

Best Original Film Score

  • Ellen Loo, Veronica Lee, “The Midnight After” WINNER
  • Taro Iwashiro, “The Crossing, Part 1”
  • Peter Kam, “Aberdeen”
  • Eli Marshall, “The Golden Era”
  • Shigeru Umebayashi, “Rise of the Legend”

Best Original Film Song

  •  “Never Say Breakup Again”: “Break Up 100” (Composer: Chan Kwong-wing; Lyric: Xiao Guang; Sung by: Ivana Wong)
  • “Brand New Hong Kong”: “Golden Chickensss” (Composer: my little airport-Lam Ah P; Lyric: my little airport-Lam Ah P; Sung by my little airport-Nicole)
  •  “Destination”: “Aberdeen” (Composer: Anthony Wong, Jason Choi; Lyric: Anthony Wong; Sung by: Anthony Wong) WINNER
  •  “Your Legend”: “Rise of the Legend” (Composer: Ashin, Mayday; Lyric: Ashin, Mayday; Sung by: Mayday)
  •  “The Quiet Storm”: “Insanity” (Composer: Leon Ko; Lyric: Chris Shum; Sung by: Eason Chan)

Best Sound Design

  • Kinson Tsang, George Lee Yiu-keung, “Kung Fu Jungle”
  • Tu Duu Chih, “The Crossing, Part 1” WINNER
  • Kinson Tsang, George Lee Yiu-keung, Yiu Chun-hin, Steve Chan, “Rise of the Legend”
  • Phyllis Cheng, Ip Siu-kei, “That Demon Within”
  • Kinson Tsang, “Overheard 3”

Best Visual Effects

  • Enoch Chan, “Kung Fu Jungle”
  • David Ebner, Kevin Rafferty, Ding Li Bo, “The Monkey King”
  • Tong Ka-wai, Ken Law, Lucky Tracy Hannah, “The Midnight After”
  • Victor Wong, Bryan Cheung, “Rise of the Legend” WINNER
  • Alex Lim Hun-fung, Lin Chun-yue, Yee Kwok-leung, “That Demon Within”

Best New Director

  • Ruby Yang, “My Voice, My Life”
  • David Lee Kwong-yiu, “Insanity” WINNER
  • Amos WHY, “Dot 2 Dot”

Best Film From Mainland and Taiwan

  • “Black Coal, Thin Ice”
  •  “Paradise in Service”
  •  “No Man’s Land”
  •  “Cafe Waiting Love”
  •  “Coming Home” WINNER

Opinion: They should actually allow Chinese films from other countries like Malaysia or Singapore to compete for this one too. Should be renamed ‘Best Chinese Film from outside Hong Kong’. This allows for greater competition. Now, Malaysian Chinese film (like the successful ‘The Journey’ last year) didn’t get to compete. It may stands a bit of chance. At least, it can be recognized a bit oversea. 

I didn’t watch many Hong Kong films last year (contested in this 34th awards), and so I won’t provide much judgement. I’m just voicing my personal opinion on who or which film deserved better in certain categories above. Most of the films nominated did manage to win one or more awards this year, unlike last year when ‘The Grandmaster’ took almost all the awards (that’s too much). ‘The Golden Era’ is the biggest winner this year with 5 wins.

There is still huge room of improvement for Hong Kong film industry. But at least, they are much better than our Malaysian Chinese films now.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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