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27th Hong Kong Film Awards Preview: Best New Performer

Previously:

The last of the acting categories, here are the nominees for Best New Performer:

Linda Chung Ka-Yan (LOVE IS NOT ALL AROUND)
Tsei Tsz-Tung (PROTEGE)
Wen Jun-Hui (THE PYE-DOG)
Wong Hau-Yan (THE BESIEGED CITY)
Kate Tsui Tsz-Shan (EYE IN THE SKY)

Not Ranked: Wong Hau-Yan (THE BESIEGED CITY)

THE BESIEGED CITY had a very limited qualifying theatrical run and is not yet available on DVD. I tried to obtain a screener of the film for this post but quickly learned that Mei Ah is not making any available. As a result, I am unable to rank Wong Hau-Yan’s performance. Not to be dismissive of Wong but — considering that there are two high-profile “TVB’s Next Top Diva”, er, TVB beauty pageant winners in the field — she probably only has an outside chance of winning.

4. Tsei Tsz-Tung (PROTEGE)

Every once in a while, the crop of new performers is so lean the field for this category has to be filled by any warm body that qualifies. Past examples of this phenomenon include the nominations of Baby Matthew Medvedev for ROB-B-HOOD and Edison Chen Kwoon-Hei for GEN-Y COPS. The nomination of Tsei Tsz-Tung — the kid who played the daughter of Zhang Jingchu’s junkie mother — appears to be one more example.

3. Wen Jun-Hui (THE PYE-DOG)

Another child actor, Wen Jun-Hui makes his debut in a feature film by playing the quiet son of a father who is an exiled gangster and a mother who is mentally-disturbed. He gives a solid performance but it isn’t as rich or as effective as the one delivered by last year’s winner Gouw Ian Iskander (Ng King-To).

2. Linda Chung Ka-Yan (LOVE IS NOT ALL AROUND)

Prior to her appearance in LOVE IS NOT ALL AROUND, fellow Canadian Linda Chung — the winner of the Miss Chinese International Pageant in 2004 — struggled against the heavy burden of high-expectations that come from winning a high-profile TVB beauty pageant. Together with her breakthrough performance in the hugely popular TVB series HEART OF GREED, Chung’s portrayal in LOVE IS NOT ALL AROUND of a young wife who gets cheated on has helped her shake off the “wooden beauty queen” label. While Chung gives a more realistic and grounded performance than lead actress Fellow beauty queens Kate Tsui (left) and Linda Chung (right)Stephy Tang Lai-Yan, the role and the teen idol film are too slight to be a serious threat to …

1. Kate Tsui Tsz-Shan (EYE IN THE SKY)

As I mentioned in my review of the film, Kate Tsui delivers an impressive performance. The winner of the Miss Hong Kong Pageant in 2004, Tsui, like Linda Chung, has also had to carry the cross of being a TVB beauty queen. Her measured depiction of a rookie recruit who blossoms into a confident cop is the class of this field and it will be a shocking upset if she does not walk away with the top prize.

That said, had LUST, CAUTION qualified for this year’s Hong Kong Film Awards, Tsui’s outstanding performance in EYE IN THE SKY would definitely be playing second fiddle to Tang Wei’s extraordinary turn in the Ang Lee film.

Image credit: Xinhua

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