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Archive for April 17th, 2010

Hong Kong Film Awards 2010 Predictions

Before we get rolling on the live blog for the Hong Kong Film Awards. You can look here for the full nomination list. These are my predictions:

Best New Director:

Will Win: Cheung King-Wai (KJ)
Should Win: Cheung King-Wai (KJ)
My take: Technically, this is not Cheung’s first film (that would be the excellent All’s Well With the World), but since the rules are for directors under the age of 40 rather than a director’s first film, that would make him qualify. That’s all the better, since he certainly deserves it for KJ.

Best Asian Film:

Will Win: Departures (Japan)
Should Win: City of Life and Death (China)
My take: Departures was very well-regarded here in Hong Kong, and word-of-mouth even got it to become a box office hit. Besides, the first Asian film in years to win a Best Foreign Film Oscar to not win Best Asian Film here would just be embarrassing. However, don’t be surprised if the committee ends up giving face to any of the China nominees, and I would only be happy if that winner is City of Life and Death.

Best Visual Effects:

Will Win: Bodyguards and Assassins
Should Win: Storm Warriors
My take: I think this may be a case where the committee will end up choosing the better film over the film with the better effects. Storm Warriors may have sucked, but its visual effects definitely sets a new standard for Hong Kong cinema.

Best Sound Design

Will Win: Bodyguards and Assassins or KJ
Should Win:
Red Cliff II
My Take: I’ve seen all of these films on the big screen, and only KJ was entirely shot on live sound recording. The rest featured the usual awkward post-production dubbing and overdone sound effects. KJ may follow its lead at the Golden Horse Awards and win in this category for the music, or Bodyguards may win for prestige. But the bigger budget, the better, and Red Cliff II probably deserves the award here for consistency. 

Best Original Song

Will Win: Echoes of the Rainbow
Should Win:
Echoes of the Rainbow

My take: It’s a fine song, and it plays a big role in the film. Plus, the film the sleeper hit of the year.

Best Original Score

Will Win: Red Cliff II
Should Win:
Vengeance
My Take: Red Cliff won last year, so there’s little reason for it to not repeat the success, though Lo Tayu’s score for Vengeance was the most distinct one out of them all. 

Best Action Design

Will Win: Bodyguards and Assassins
Should Win:
Bodyguards and Assassins

My Take: This win is purely by default, since the action in the five nominated films were all just so-so. Then again, Donnie’s presence on
14 Blades may help, but its action was a real ho-hum effort, especially for a Donnie film.  They really should’ve nominated Kung Fu Chef. 

Best Costume Design and Make-up

Will Win: Red Cliff II
Should Win:
Red Cliff II
My Take:  Red Cliff won this category last year, so again, don’t see much reason for it not winning this year, even though they’re going up against a Yonfan movie this year.

Best Art Direction

Will Win: Bodyguards and Assassins
Should Win: Bodyguards and Assassins

My Take: They rebuilt an entire district of Hong Kong in a film studio. ’nuff said. 

Best Editing

Will Win: KJ or Bodyguards and Assassins
Should Win: KJ or Red Cliff II

My Take:
KJ
’s editing was easily one of the best things about the film, and this would be the win that’s most well-deserved. However, Having a new editor on Red Cliff II made all the difference in the world from the draggy first installment, and Bodyguards and Assassins may pick this up out of prestige.

Best Cinematography

Will Win: Arthur Wong - Bodyguards and Assassins
Should Win: Chin Ting-Chang - Prince of Tears
My Take: Arthur Wong seems to take this award every time he’s nominated, and he’ll probably win for the likely Best Picture winner, just because he’s Arthur Wong. I didn’t care for Prince of Tears, but I will not deny that it was a damn pretty-looking film. I hope dearly that Arthur Wong doesn’t return next year for Here Comes Fortune.

Best New Artist

Will Win: Buzz Chung - Echoes of the Rainbow
Should Win: Aarif Lee - Echoes of the Rainbow
My Take: The audience opinion leans heavily towards the younger Echoes actor, while I picked Aarif out of default. Buzz was too annoying for my taste.

Best Screenplay

Will Win: Echoes of the Rainbow
Should Win: Everything else
My Take: As mentioned, Echoes is going to easily take this one out of popular opinion, but it’s in my opinion the least deserving out of the five. Accident had a killer idea and went with it until its contrived finale, Overheard was a fine commercial script that again fell apart at the third act, Bodyguards and Assassins is the most solid out of the five and was easily the favorite until Echoes won at Berlin (somehow Europeans appreciating something can validate previously inferior things here in Hong Kong), and Written By is easily the most complex script out of the five, but the committee don’t care for that kind of cerebral stuff.

Best Supporting Actress

Will Win: Li Yuchun - Bodyguards and Assassins
Should Win: Vicki Zhao - Red Cliff II
or Michelle Ye - Accident
My Take:
Bodyguards will win this round because Echoes isn’t nominated, and Li is the only female performance people rave about in the film (for what I have no idea). And I only choose Vicki Zhao as should win because the LoveHKFilm Award committee has voted so.  I thought Michelle Ye’s intensity in Accident
complemented Louis Koo’s cold personality in the film well.

Best Supporting Actor

Will Win: Nicholas Tse - Bodyguards and Assassins
Should Win: Nicholas Tse - Bodyguards and Assassins
My Take: This is a Nicholas Tse performance we’ve never seen before, and the result is THE performance to beat this year. Surely some kind of justice for him after Nick Cheung stole all the thunder for Beast Stalkers.

Best Actress

Will Win: Kara Hui - At the End of Daybreak or Sandra Ng - Echoes of the Rainbow
Should Win: Zhang Jingchu -
Night and Fog

My Take: Kara Hui has long been a favorite, and I would be happy if she wins for her powerful performance. On the other hand, Sandra Ng has been picking up steam because of the Echoes of the Rainbow fever sweeping the city, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she picks up some votes. My favorite, however, remains Zhang Jingchu, who not only have to handle the tough role of the abused wife in Night and Fog, but also had to perform the entire role in Cantonese. It’s definitely an overlooked effort that deserves recognition.

Best Actor

Will Win: Wang Xueqi - Bodyguards and Assassins
Should Win: Wang Xueqi - Bodyguards And Assassins
My Take: The only main cast the least physically involved with the action part of the film ends up being a lead in an ensemble cast of more than ten characters. Wang has been building steam since the film came out, and his win should be no surprise - or disappointment - to anyone. Unless you’re an adamant fan of Echoes of the Rainbow and believe it should win everything.

Best Director

Will Win: Teddy Chan - Bodyguards and Assassins
Should Win: John Woo - Red Cliff II
My Take: Teddy Chan will likely be recognize for his ten-year journey in bringing this film to the big screen, but John Woo deserves recognition for pulling off the most expensive Asian film ever made. Like Peter Jackson, Woo should be recognized this year for his effort on the two-part film, but its Lunar New Year slot last year means people probably have already forgotten it. Alex Law was rightfully excluded for Echoes of the Rainbow because the directing was one of the film’s major problems, while Soi Cheang and Cheung King-Wai should’ve been in this list.

Best Film

Will Win: Bodyguards and Assassins
Should Win: KJ 
My Take: KJ is a very strong character portrait that happens to be a documentary. It’s a testament to not just documentary filmmaking, but to the art of filmmaking and storytelling. However, Hong Kong cinema is a commercial industry, and Bodyguards and Assassins is an excellent commercial film that isn’t perfect, but mostly delivers. I wouldn’t be upset if it won, but I’d know that it still isn’t the best film of the year.

We’ll see how I do come Sunday night. What are some of your picks? Share in the comments section!

 
 
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