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27th Hong Kong Film Awards Preview: Best Supporting Actress

Previously:

Moving forward with the HKFA preview series, the nominees in the Best Supporting Actress category are:

Karen Mok Man-Wai (MR. CINEMA)
Anita Yuen Wing-Yi (PROTEGE)
Vicki Zhao Wei (THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNT)
Susan Shaw aka Siu Yam-Yam (THE PYE-DOG)
Maggie Shiu Mei-Kei (EYE IN THE SKY)

5. Anita Yuen Wing-Yi (PROTEGE)

Another puzzling nominee from PROTEGE, Anita Yuen herself “never thought” she would be nominated for her performance as a “mafia wife”. A two-time HKFA winner in the Best Actress category (for C’EST LA VIE MON CHERI and HE’S A WOMAN, SHE’S A MAN), Yuen’s nomination is questionable not because of her acting but because her role in PROTEGE is very brief and very generic. Her big scene was, I think, intended to be harrowing but her character was so underdeveloped, the moment was not as effective as it could have been. As is the case with the Louis Koo nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category, this spot should have been used to give recognition to another actress — one of the performances, perhaps, by the actresses from WHISPERS AND MOANS or, a certain nominee in the Best Supporting Actress category for the Republic of Sanneyistan Film Awards, Jo Koo’s memorably hilarious turn in SINGLE BLOG.

4. Susan Shaw aka Siu Yam-Yam (THE PYE-DOG)

Siu Yam-Yam in younger daysOne of 2007’s “diamond in the rough” surprises, THE PYE-DOG features a decent performance by Siu Yam-Yam as a grandmother whose eyes have seen the years and the slow parade of fears. Like the film, Siu brings forth a respectable effort that is eminently worthy of a nomination but the performance is notable mostly because it is being delivered by the controversial sexpot bombshell of the 1970s.

3. Vicki Zhao Wei (THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNT)

Initially, I thought Vicki Zhao’s smoke break scene in THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNT was superfluous to the film and was engineered primarily to get Vicki Zhao some acting nominations. In preparation for this series of blog posts, I watched the film again and, upon further reflection, I think that the “Vicki Zhao at work” sequence is being used to emphasize the selfishness of Ye Rutang. In stark contrast to her mother, she is toughing it out for her family instead of abandoning them for a cosmopolitan life in Shanghai.

The scenes are a fine showcase for Vicki Zhao’s acting skills but, like the film itself, they feel antiseptic. I would not be upset if Vicki Zhao won but I’m not exactly burning joss sticks to the Hong Kong Movie Gods for a Zhao victory either.

2. Maggie Shiu Mei-Kei (EYE IN THE SKY)

Like her counterpart Nick Cheung Ka-Fai in the Best Supporting Actor category, Maggie Shiu Mei-Kei delivers a wickedly profane supporting performance. Unlike Anita Yuen in PROTEGE, Shiu takes what could easily have been a generic role and makes an impact with a limited amount of screen time. She masterfully breathes life into her character by giving her a very distinct and very memorable personal habit. Shiu is my sentimental pick to win in this category but I’m afraid her part is not substantial enough to beat …

1. Karen Mok Man-Wai (MR. CINEMA)

As the childhood sweetheart of Ronald Cheng Chung-Gei’s Chong, Karen Mok gives a pitch-perfect performance and helps MR. CINEMA walk the fine line between touching and treacly. Mok’s understated portrayal of a Hong Kong woman who goes overseas for schooling and returns to Hong Kong to work reflects the quietly ambitious, restrained and hard-working aspects of Hong Kong life and perfectly complements Ronald Cheng’s reflection of Hong Kong’s passionate side. As a result, it is hard to argue against a Karen Mok victory but I’m still rooting for Maggie Shiu.

Image credit: Shaw Brothers Studio

One Response to “27th Hong Kong Film Awards Preview: Best Supporting Actress”

  1. Will Says:

    Sanney,

    Doesn’t the song go “doctor my eyes have seen the years and the slow parade of TEARS” not fears?

    I knew Susan Shaw was going to win because it had de facto lifetime achievement award written all over it.

 
 
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