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20th Annual LoveHKFilm Awards

Whoops. Last year we said that we would hand out the 2014 edition of the LoveHKFilm Awards before October 2015 but we were unable to keep our promise. Our shame knows no limits.

The specifics: The films eligible for these awards include all Hong Kong and China films released in Hong Kong cinemas during the 2014 calendar year. Unfortunately, due to weird scheduling and the curious decisions of some Hong Kong distributors to not release their films on home video, some deserving films were overlooked. Bummer.

This year's edition of the LoveHKFilm Awards is called the 20th edition, though the site has been around only 13 years. That's because we tacked on seven years when the site first started, just for fun. We hope this does not cause issues.

A full list of jury members can be found below. Thanks to each of them for their tolerance, participation and patience.


Best Picture
No Man's Land
Shot in 2009, delayed until 2013 in China, released in 2014 in Hong Kong, and now given an award for Best Picture of 2014 at the tail end of 2015, No Man's Land has had a long and winding journey that's been worth the wait. Tense, skillfully-made, darkly funny and a damn shame that it's not easier to get on home video. Ning Hao knows how to make movies.


Best Director
Fruit Chan Gor (The Midnight After)
More of an acquired taste than one might expect, apocalyptic sci-fi comedy The Midnight After nonetheless earned its stripes as a sly political allegory and a blackly comedic gem, and the majority of the credit should go to Fruit Chan's smart and creative direction. Better than the online novel that inspired it, and probably any sequel will be too. Get on it, Fruit.


Best Actor
William Feng (The Continent)
As the egocentric "hero" of Han Han's The Continent, William Feng turned in an exceptional performance, earning laughs with his immaturity, and sympathy with his self-awareness. It's a charismatic, wide-ranging role that might have been owned by Chow Yun-Fat in his heyday. William Feng is no Chow Yun-Fat, but in The Continent, we'll take him.


Best Actress
Gigi Leung Wing-Kei (Aberdeen)
Once touted as a future winner of acting awards after Tempting Heart and A War Named Desire, Gigi Leung has seen her star dim over the past decade. But Pang Ho-Cheung handed her an image-busting role as an aging actress in his family drama Aberdeen, and she knocked it out of the park. Unfortunately, Leung wasn't even nominated for a Hong Kong Film Award.


Best Supporting Actor
Nick Cheung Ka-Fai (Golden Chickensss)
Everybody's pal Nick Cheung wins yet another acting award — his third from the LoveHKFilm Awards, actually — for his supporting turn as Gordon, the outdated and hilariously righteous triad brother, in Golden Chickensss. Despite relatively meager screentime, Cheung proved to be the most memorable character from Sandra Ng's Lunar New Year blockbuster.


Best Supporting Actress
Wang Luodan (The Continent)
The textbook definition of a supporting role, Wang Luodan's appearance in Han Han's The Continent was short, surreal and surprisingly genuine. Wang brought sultry mystique and quirky depth to the role of elusive prostitute Su Mi. After showing up, Wang sadly disappears from the remainder of the film, but her presence lingers long after she's gone.


Best Screenplay
Diao Yinan (Black Coal, Thin Ice)
Award-winning film noir Black Coal, Thin Ice delivered a creative and cleverly-arranged murder mystery with characters that are fascinating and multi-dimensional — and it did so using very little dialogue or exposition. The actors play their parts perfectly but its writer (and also director) Diao Yinan who provided them the stage directions and subtext to work with.


Best New Artist
Zhang Huiwen (Coming Home)
Some members of the LoveHKFilm Awards Jury highly praise newcomer Zhang Huiwen, who played Gong Li's daughter in Zhang Yimou's Coming Home. Unfortunately, the person who wrote this blurb did not see the film so, uh, here's what Variety had to say: "...bright-eyed Zhang Huiwen is a discovery, meeting the role’s demands with flying colors..." We concur! I think.


Worst Picture
Iceman 3D
The Donnie Yen-produced and starred Iceman 3D is notable for its dopey script, crappy humor and all-around ill-conceived existence instead of its action, which is too CGI-assisted to be that good. Also: This movie has explosive poo. The first part of a duology, though the second is still unscheduled at this time for, uh, reasons not related to the first one sucking. Right.


Best Action
Kung Fu Jungle
Donnie Yen and his posse of action directors (Yuen Bun and Stephen Tung among them) win this award running away. Besides featuring many nifty martial arts styles, Kung Fu Jungle has a narrative and cast that pays homage to martial arts cinema of decades past. As such, we give it extra points because not only does it have awesome movie action, it's actually about action movies! Meta.


Most Underrated Film
The Great Hypnotist
Director Leste Chen's glossy not-actually-a-horror-film psychological thriller suffers from a super-explanatory final fifteen minutes, but prior to that it delivers solid tension, an intriguing mystery and a couple of fine performances from leads Xu Zheng and Karen Mok. The Great Hypnotist is not Best Picture material, but calling it underrated is something we're glad to do.


Most Overrated Film
Overheard 3
The Overheard films were uniformly solid as entertainment, but they were always lacking just a little something. The same is true for Overheard 3, but since the final film in Alan Mak and Felix Chong's trilogy got ten zillion Hong Kong Film Award nominations, it might be safe to label this one as overrated. So that's what we'll call it: overrated. Alex Fong's hair ruled, though.


Most Bizarre Film
A combination of melodrama, political references and social critique, Enthralled attempts deep meaning about Hong Kong and its people but only succeeds at confusing and annoying with bizarre dialogue like, "You are globalization." Really? Thanks for telling us that we are globalization — we'll collectively try to improve on that. Meanwhile, Enthralled, you might try making sense.


Most Disappointing Film
Rise of the Legend
Eddie Peng, Sammo Hung, Wang Luodan, Angelababy, Jing Boran, action director Corey Yuen and, uh, Roy Chow. Well, it should still be awesome, right? Truthfully, Rise of the Legend is not terrible, but since this is the long-awaited return of Wong Fei-Hong, and they cast EDDDDIIIEEEE, you'd think they could have made a better film. They did not, so we're truly and utterly disappointed.


Most Annoying
Chapman To Man-Chat (Black Comedy, From Vegas to Macau)
We still like him — hell, who doesn't — but 2014 was the year Chapman To backslid from the heights of Vulgaria with tired performances in From Vegas to Macau and Black Comedy. He improved neither film and instead mugged and overacted more than his already overacting co-stars. Chapman, we urge you to choose better projects or at least act engaged.


Most Awesome
Hu Jun (As the Light Goes Out)
Being a firefighter is awesome enough, but when you're a firefighter who's a calming influence during a Hong Kong blackout, you deserve recognition. Also: You can memorize the floor plans of a power plant in less than 30 seconds, and your name is Ocean. As in, you could put out a fire by yourself because, hey, you're Ocean! Seriously, Hu Jun was basically a Jedi in As the Light Goes Out.


Most Underrated Performer
Xu Zheng (The Great Hypnotist)
Haunted by ghosts, guilt and portentous screenwriting, the cagey Dr. Xu Ruining of The Great Hypnotist requires an actor to cover territory ranging from arrogant and insufferable to sympathetic and contrite, and cueball Xu Zheng handled the role like a pro. It helps that his co-star is the reliably great Karen Mok, so she might deserve a piece of this award too. But Xu gets most of it.


The Triple Crown Award
Ivana Wong
A winner at the Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Supporting Actress and Best New Artist for Golden Chickensss, and also a nominee for Best New Artist for Break Up 100 and Delete My Love, Ivana Wong is not lacking recognition. She didn't receive a standard LoveHKFilm Award, but in honor of her stellar work (really, she was great in everything), Wong gets this one.


The Liu Kai-Chi Overacting Award
William Chan Wai-Ting (Golden Brother)
A decent overactor before, William Chan really outdid himself in Golden Brother. Maybe it was the fact that he was co-starring with Liu Kai-Chi, the namesake of this award, but Chan delivered a remarkably intense and hyperbolic performance in a role and film that did not deserve such histrionics. Anyway, when you overact opposite Liu Kai-Chi and hold your own, you deserve recognition.


Taking Up Space
The cast of Lan Kwai Fong 3
Starring Jeana Ho, Jason Chan, Ava something, some Korean guy and the annoying dude who isn't Sammy Sum, Lan Kwai Fong 3 is the furthest thing from an acting showcase. These actors and their sculpted bodies are basically the creamy filling for an empty-calorie, sponge-cake-inflated Twinkie of a movie. Twinkies at least come only two per pack. They made three Lan Kwai Fong movies.


The "Best Man Ever" Award (tie)
Vic Chou and Daniel Wu (Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2)
The Don't Go Breaking My Heart movies have given us this lesson: If you want to be the Best Man Ever, you have to give your rival in love every opportunity to steal your girl. If you're lucky, like Daniel Wu was in the first movie, you still win her heart. If you're unlucky, like nearly everyone was in the second movie, you're still awesome because you let her choose. Too bad she didn't choose you.


The Best Film that Nobody Wants You to See
Coming Home
Zhang Yimou's Coming Home was acclaimed by critics and could have won Best Film from the LoveHKFilm Awards. However, not everyone on the jury saw it at the cinema and those that didn't expected to catch it on home video later. A good plan, right? Wrong! Over a full year after its cinema release, Coming Home is still not available on home video. What gives, Zhang Yimou?


Best Villain
Fiona Sit Hoi-Kei (Girls)
As if a movie needed to teach us this lesson, Girls showed us that caring friends can still be batsh*t insane megalomaniacs who confuse serving others with being self-serving. Such is the case with Fiona Sit's character Kimmy, who claimed to have slept with her friend's guy just to teach her a lesson. That lesson? That the guy sucks. The other lesson? That Kimmy sucks too.


The Team Player Award
The other girls in Girls
When your best friend is emotionally abusive and lies to you in the name of "friendship" AND you still stay friends with her despite never learning the truth about if she slept with your boyfriend or not, well, you're one hell of a team player! Bonus: If you're friends with both but timidly do nothing when all this drama goes on, you're also a team player. Or you're all just really awful people.


Career Suicide
Roy Chow Hin-Yeung (Rise of the Legend)
This award is a bit misplaced, because there's no way that Roy Chow, as the go-to Golden Boy director of Edko Films, could ever commit career suicide outside of a felony indictment. However, botching a sure-win proposition like rebooting the Wong Fei-Hong film series with star Eddie Peng should earn you some scorn, and also a corresponding award.


The Hand of China Award
No Man's Land
Pretty much a slam dunk pick for this award, No Man's Land was delayed over four years thanks to the good people at SAPPRFT, who couldn't handle a film taking place in a lawless part of China with few redeeming qualities beyond, "Hey, there are bad people and sometimes the less bad end up doing good by taking on the more bad." The film's tacked-on epilogue is pure Hand of China.


The "Airways of Love" Award for Best Performance
by Michael Wong in a film starring Michael Wong

Michael Wong Mun-Tak (Z Storm)
He had tough competition from himself in Delete My Love, but Michael Wong won the inaugural "Airways of Love" award for his turn as the slimy villain of Z Storm. Wong's hilarious histrionics in a supposed serious thriller made this a no-brainer. For the curious and masochistic, the namesake of the award can be found here.


The Unwatchable Award
The Unbelievable 3: The Skeleton Road
True-horror "documentary" Unbelievable 3 takes home this award for two reasons. One, only one of the LoveHKFilm jury saw it because everyone else expected it to automatically stink. Two, it did stink and was actually unwatchable. Oh, and the movie is currently unavailable on home video, marking a third reason why it's "unwatchable". Achievement of this magnitude deserves respect.


The Unavailable Award
May We Chat, Coming Home, No Man's Land, Breakup Buddies
So, these films were released a very long time ago in 2014, and yet none are available on home video. Not only does this make catching up on them for the LoveHKFilm Awards impossible but it also pisses off people who might consider seeing them if they could. Pro tip: If you want people to watch your films, you make them available for consumption. Legally, that is.


The Fast Food Tie-in Award
The Wrath of Vajra
In this B-action flick, Xing Yu takes on an evil cult named Hades, which is written phonetically as "ha-dik-si" — the exact same name as fast-food chain Hardees in Hong Kong. So, one can describe this film as being about a Shaolin disciple who fights an unhealthy burger chain. Obviously, The Wrath of Vajra isn't really about that. But if it was, it might actually have been a better movie.


The Andy Lau Product Placement Award
Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2
If you live in Johnnie To's flush-with-money wonderland of Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2, you drive a Maserati or a Ferrari. Or, if you're slightly not as well-off, you make do with just a Mini Cooper. Being a one-percenter is tough, but we can relate to them because they drink the same cheap yogurt drink that we scrubs do. Actually, they probably have to, because according to Johnnie To, that yogurt drink is the ONLY drink in Hong Kong. Marketing is amazing.


The Next 10 Best Films of 2014
The Midnight After
Dot 2 Dot
The Continent
Black Coal, Thin Ice
Personal Tailor
Kung Fu Jungle
As the Light Goes Out
Temporary Family
Lessons in Dissent


The Next 10 Worst Films of 2014
Kung Fu Angels
But Always
Urban Games
Z Storm
The Truth About Beauty
Lan Kwai Fong 3
Black Comedy 
I Sell Love

The LoveHKFilm Awards Jury

Ross Chen (a.k.a. Kozo)

Shelley Cheung
Minion of Kozo and Editing Monkey,

Paul Fox (a.k.a. Foxlore)
College Lecturer, Media Studies, HKU Space
Creator and Host, East Screen/West Screen Podcast

Diana Mitrano

Former Minion,

Tim Youngs
Film Festival Consultant

Yuen Man (a.k.a Garden)
Chinese Editor,

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