“The Grandmaster” Grabs 14 Hong Kong Film Award Nominations

Director Wong Kar Wai’s (王家衛) The Grandmaster <一代宗師> received fourteen nominations for this year’s Hong Kong Film Awards, followed closely by director Dante Lam’s (林超賢) Unbeatable <激戰> with eleven nominations. The winners will be announced on April 13.

Now in its 33rd year, the Hong Kong Film Awards were criticized the previous year for lacking suspense, with police thriller Cold War <寒戰> easily winning nine out of its eleven nominations. However, the competition is expected to be much more heated this year now that many of Hong Kong cinema’s biggest names have trekked back to the arena.

The Grandmaster, a biographical film about martial arts legend Ip Man (葉問), led the pack of nominees with fourteen nods, including Best Film and Best Director. Wong Kar Wai, will duke it out with Dante Lam, Johnnie To (杜琪峰), Benny Chan (陳木勝), and Derek Kwok (郭子健) to see who will win this year’s Best Director Award.

Although Stephen Chow (周星馳) did not net a nomination for his directing work on Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons <西遊·降魔篇>, the film itself did receive a nod for Best Film. Journey to the West is up against powerhouses The Grandmaster and Unbeatable, as well as crime thriller The White Storm <掃毒> and dance flick The Way We Dance <狂舞派>.

In an interesting twist, two of this year’s Best Actor nominees portrayed the same character, Ip Man, though in different films – Tony Leung Chiu Wai (梁朝偉) in The Grandmaster and Anthony Wong (黃秋生) in Ip Man: The Final Fight <葉問:終極一戰>. Joining the scuffle for Best Actor are Louis Koo (古天樂) and Sean Lau (劉青雲), both from The White Storm, as well as Nick Cheung (張家輝) from Unbeatable.

For the first time in six years, Best Actress may be awarded to a mainland Chinese actress, namely Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) for The Grandmaster or Tang Wei (湯唯) for Finding Mr. Right <北京遇上西雅圖>. Their fellow nominees include Nina Paw (鮑起靜), Sammi Cheng (鄭秀文), and newbie actress Cherry Ngan (顏卓靈).

Mainland Chinese actresses had previously snagged the Best Actress Award four years in a row, from 2004 to 2008, after which Hong Kong actresses began expressing their discontent with the situation. Last year, mainland Chinese actress Zhou Xun (周迅) was nominated twice for the award but lost to Miriam Yeung (楊千嬅).

Best Film:
– The Grandmaster
– Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
– The Way We Dance
– The White Storm
– Unbeatable

Best Director:
– Wong Kar Wai (The Grandmaster)
– Johnnie To (Drug War)
– Benny Chan (The White Storm)
– Derek Kwok (As the Light Goes Out)
– Dante Lam (Unbeatable)

Best Screenplay:
– Zou Jingzhi, Xu Haofeng, Wong Kar Wai (The Grandmaster)
– Zhou Zhiyong, Zhang Ji, Aubrey Lam (American Dreams in China)
– Xue Xiaolu (Finding Mr. Right)
– Wai Ka Fai, Yau Nai Hoi, Ryker Chan, Yu Xi (Blind Detective)
– Jack Ng, Fung Chi Fung, Dante Lam (Unbeatable)

Best Actor:
– Tony Leung (The Grandmaster)
– Louis Koo (The White Storm)
– Sean Lau (The White Storm)
– Anthony Wong (Ip Man: The Final Fight)
– Nick Cheung (Unbeatable)

Best Actress:
– Zhang Ziyi (The Grandmaster)
– Tang Wei (Finding Mr. Right)
– Cherry Ngan (The Way We Dance)
– Sammi Cheng (Blind Detective)
– Nina Paw (Rigor Mortis)

Best Supporting Actor:
–  Zhang Jin (The Grandmaster)
– Tong Dawei (American Dreams in China)
– Huang Bo (Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons)
– Eddie Peng (Unbeatable)
– Antony Chan (Rigor Mortis)

Best Supporting Actress:
– Du Juan (American Dreams in China)
– Carina Lau (Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon)
– Law Lan (The White Storm)
– Crystal Lee (Unbeatable)
– Kara Hui (Rigor Mortis)

Best New Performer:
– Du Juan (American Dreams in China)
– Fish Liew (Doomsday Party)
– Lin Gengxin (Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon)
– Babyjohn Choi (The Way We Dance)
– Angel Chiang (A Secret Between Us)

Best Cinematography:
– Philippe Le Sourd (The Grandmaster)
– Anthony Pun (The White Storm)
– Jason Kwan (As the Light Goes Out)
– Kenny Tse (Unbeatable)
– Ng Kai Ming (Rigor Mortis)

Best Film Editing:
– William Chang, Benjamin Courtines, Poon Hung Yiu (The Grandmaster)
– Kwong Chi Leung, Ron Chan (Firestorm)
– Yau Chi Wai (The White Storm)
– Wong Hoi (As the Light Goes Out)
– Azrael Chung (Unbeatable)

Best Art Direction:
– William Chang, Alfred Yau (The Grandmaster)
– Eric Lam (Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons)
– Ken Mak (Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon)
– Eric Lam (As the Light Goes Out)
– Irving Cheung (Rigor Mortis)

Best Costume & Makeup Design:
– William Chang (The Grandmaster)
– Dora Ng (American Dreams in China)
– Lee Pik Kwan, Bruce Yu (Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons)
– Lee Pik Kwan, Bruce Yu (Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon)
– Miggy Cheng, Phoebe Wong, Kittichon Kunratchol (Rigor Mortis)

Best Action Choreography:
– Yuen Woo Ping (The Grandmaster)
– Yuen Bun (Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon)
– Chin Ka Lok (Firestorm)
– Donnie Yen (Special ID)
– Ling Chi Wah (Unbeatable)

Best Original Film Score:
– Shigeru Umebayashi, Nathaniel Mechaly (The Grandmaster)
– Kenji Kawai (Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon)
– Day Tai, Afuc Chan (The Way We Dance)
– Teddy Robin, Tomy Wai (As the Light Goes Out)
– Henry Lai (Unbeatable)

Best Original Film Song:
– “New Order” <新秩序 > (Young and Dangerous: Reloaded)
– “Let’s Dance Crazily” <狂舞吧> (The Way We Dance)
– “Blind Love” <盲愛> (Blind Detective)
– “Lifelong Sympathy” <心照一生> (The White Storm)
– “Love is the Greatest” <愛最大> (As the Light Goes Out)

Best Sound Design:
– Robert Mackenzie, Traithep Wongpaiboon (The Grandmaster)
– Kinson Tsang (Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon)
– Phyllis Cheng (As the Light Goes Out)
– Phyllis Cheng (Unbeatable)
– Benny Chu, Steve Miller (Rigor Mortis)

Best Visual Effects:
– Pierre Buffin (The Grandmaster)
– Wook Kim (Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon)
– Yee Kwok Leung, Lai Man Chun, Ho Kwan Yeung, Garrett K. Lam (Firestorm)
– Henri Wong, Hugo Kwan, Walter Wong (As the Light Goes Out)
– Enoch Chan (Rigor Mortis)

Best New Director:
– Adam Wong (The Way We Dance)
– Alan Yuen (Firestorm)
– Juno Mak (Rigor Mortis)

Best Film from Mainland China and Taiwan:
– Rock Me to the Moon  (Taiwan)
– Lost in Thailand  (China)
– The Last Supper  (China)
– Touch of the Light (Taiwan)
– So Young  (China)

Source: QQ.com

This article is written by Joanna for JayneStars.com.

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  1. Nothing extremely spectacular about The Grandmaster. Unbeatable was heaps better. I’m rooting for Nick Cheung and Eddie Peng for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively.

  2. I’m personally supporting Anthony Wong for Best Actor. Ip Man: the Final Fight may have the lousiest title of the films here but it is one heck of a film and I’m a bit surprised that it did not snag a Best Pic nod.

    Anthony Wong turned out a great performance in the film, a textbook in masterful controlled and low key but resonating acting which shows great respect for Master Ip Man himself compared to other actors portraying the same role (yes, including Donnie and Tony).

    Of course Nick Cheung also turned out the stellar performance of his career in Unbeatable and may possibly nag the big prize as well.

    Will they do a tie like the Golden Horse Award did for Nick Cheung and Huang Bo several years back?

    Also, I enjoyed The Grandmaster a lot. Easily the most accessible of all Wong Kar Wai’s works and one that see him starting to move on into a new more mature direction in his film-making vision.

    Unbeatable was good but nothing special. A solid commercial fare that we have come to expect from Dante Lam but thankfully with less of the inconsistencies and showiness plaguing The Viral Factor.

    The Dark Horse in the Best Pic competition may turn out to be The Way We Dance. This is another one of my fave from last year. Starring lesser known names but with winning heartwarming performances that never strays into the melodramatic department.

    Best Director is basically the same old names from HK’s current top crop with the kinda new blood being Derek Kwok but When The Light Goes Out unfortunately is not strong enough to compete with the other nominees. So my pick (yawn) would be either Wong Kar Wai, Johnny To or Dante Lam.

    I would of course like to see the meta-horror film Rigor Mortis take both the Supporting Actor and Actress Awards for purely sentimental and nostalgic reasons. It’s nice to see Anthony Chan in a juicy role where he has a lot more to do and for Kara Hui to once in a while go a bit loony.

    Best Actress should be Zhang Ziyi’s. The girl has practically nabbed everything on the table in the Asian film awards circuit for this particular role and she was quite amazing in it. In fact, I would say that The Grandmaster is more focused on Gong Er than Ip Man for a film marketed as an Ip Man biopic.

    But sentimentally, I’m also rooting for Nina Paw for her exceptional against type performance in Rigor Mortis. The way Nina portrays her character’s spiraling journey from a kind and vulnerable soul to a murderous, selfish and slowly growing insane unlikable character was imbued with believability and pathos unlike any I’ve seen last year.

    Just my two cents for what it’s worth.

    Though I’ll also say that they could nominate better performers from other noteworthy films last year than Louis Koo and Lau Ching Wan for the two Best Actor spots. The White Storm is grossly overrated and these two did not even turn out their finest performance to warrant the nominations and to nominate them for these roles are an insult to even their own reputation as actors as far as I’m concerned.

    1. You know not like 3 hours ago I read your post about Anthony Wong and then I caught the same movie on TV and just finished just now. Story wise it was like not going anywhere but I must admit, when I read Anthony Wong as Ip Man, it will be terrible. That is because in my mind it is entrenched with this heroic image of Ipman when in real life Ip Man looked rather … ordinary. Whilst the accent come and go, I thought Anthony Wong gave a subtle controlled virtuoso performance. I may hate his brash ways and loud personality and arrogant egoistical persona in real life but Anthony Wong, like Francis Ng can really really act. Impressive stuff. But the movie was just so-so.

    2. Thanks for your short reviews and thoughts. I have not seen some movies on that list yet (working on it) but I agree with you on Anthony Wong’s (and Herman Yau’s) interpretation of this legendary figure. In a way, I thought Wong’s Ip Man was the most accessible and ‘relatable’ compared to other screen versions because we get to see his frailties as he aged within the political and economic context of the time. I liked Wong’s portrayal more than I did Tony Leung’s in the Grandmaster. Having been a fan of Wong Kar Wai films for many years, I was a little disappointed in this latest one. I suspect there was some pandering going on in terms of the genre, the cinematography, the overdone dramatic voice-overs.

      I am looking forward to watching Rigor Mortis; after such praises from you, I am really curious.

      1. No, no. I’m not Kozo. And I don’t have the chops or the concise and well-thought out opinion to be a reviewer of his caliber.

        I’m just a two-bit two cents HK movie fan 🙂

      2. Hahaha I can understand why whateves asked this, the concise break-down analysis might have some resemblance of Kozo’s. Which reminded me that I haven’t visited Lovehkfilm for a while, or watching a HK film for that matter.

  3. “Mainland Chinese actresses had previously snagged the Best Actress Award four years in a row, from 2004 to 2008, after which Hong Kong actresses began expressing their discontent with the situation.”

    The fact that Miriam Yeung can win means HK is deprived of good calibre actresses. Yet, they don’t want more deserving mainland artistes to win.

    1. Miriam’s great in that that role and in all these years has turned into a charismatic and refined actress, what are you even talking about? I do think Sammi should’ve won that year but I’m not complaining about Miriam’s win.

  4. The CGI in the Grandmaster is poor, especially the fighting scene in front of the moving train.

    So amateurish.

    1. Agreed with u on that one……I m rooting for Anthony Wong for Best Actor Ip Man (TFF) & Unbeatable for Best Film…..I literally fell asleep watching The Grandmaster….maybe a piece of moving art…for someone but boring as hell to me & many as well….

  5. DRUG WAR should’ve been included among the Best Movie nominees. Johnnie To for best director and Donnie Yen for Best Action Choreography.

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