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… On this day, I see clearly, everything has come to life.

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with 聚言莊﹕The House Where Words Gather.

Archive for the ‘Charlene Choi Cheuk-Yin’ Category

27th Hong Kong Film Awards Preview: Best Actress

Previously:

Unlike the Best Film and Best Actor categories, if LUST, CAUTION had qualified for this year’s HKFAs, it would be hard-pressed to take home the Best Actress award. While Tang Wei gives delivers an impressive performance in her first movie, it likely would not have been enough to knock off the formidable performance turned in by the number one ranked nominee in this category. Who turned in the year’s best performance? She can be found among these five nominees:

Teresa Mo Shun-Kwun (MR. CINEMA)
Zhang Jingchu (PROTEGE)
Siqin Gaowa (THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNT)
Rene Liu (KIDNAP)
Charlene Choi Cheuk-Yin (SIMPLY ACTORS)

5. Zhang Jingchu (PROTEGE)

Perhaps my ability to appreciate actors portraying drug addicts has been dulled by being exposed to dozens of skels and Monie Tung Man-Lei in WHISPERS AND MOANSjunkies over my many years of watching cop shows like NYPD BLUE and THE SHIELD but there doesn’t seem to be anything especially remarkable about Zhang Jingchu’s take on a drug addicted-mother. It’s a competent performance but it’s neither memorable nor extraordinary. If you were to compare Zhang’s performance to another drug addict portrayal from a 2007 film — Monie Tung Man-Lei’s heroin-addict hooker in WHISPERS AND MOANS — you would be hard-pressed to argue that one is significantly better than the other. Awards are about rewarding excellence and, frankly, Zhang’s performance in PROTEGE is good but not great.

4. Rene Liu (KIDNAP)

In the past, Rene Liu has delivered the goods and demonstrated that she’s an above average actress so her ranking here is more of a reflection on KIDNAP than it is of her acting ability. Playing a mother desperate to get her son back, Liu is given plenty of opportunity by the film to show off her acting skills. However, KIDNAP never rises above the level of a “popcorn movie” so it’s hard to take her character seriously — especially when she has to do “cheesy things only people in the movies do” like ram the car of her ex-husband’s new girlfriend. If Liu were to win, it would be like Jodie Foster getting Oscars for THE BRAVE ONE and FLIGHT PLAN instead of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and THE ACCUSED.

3. Charlene Choi Cheuk-Yin (SIMPLY ACTORS)

An earnest but malformed attempt to be 2007’s MY NAME IS FAME, SIMPLY ACTORS has Charlene Choi Cheuk-Yin Charlene Choi Cheuk-Yin in SIMPLY ACTORSportraying a Mainland-born CAT-III star looking to improve her acting skills and break into the mainstream. At first blush, the role seems to lend itself to the lowbrow hijinks viewers used to see in Wong Jing comedies of the late-1980s/early-1990s but Choi never lets her character descend into caricature and even manages to offer a few sincere and touching moments. If it wasn’t evident before, it certainly is evident now: Charlene Choi is capable of more than her cutie-pie Twins act. I hate to say this — given that Gillian Chung Yan-Tung’s career has been ruined by the scandal — but “Sexy Photos Gate” may be the best thing that could happen to Ah Sa because it allows her to break up with Ah Gil without having to break up with her.

2. Teresa Mo Shun-Kwun (MR. CINEMA)

My sentimental favourite to win in this category, Teresa Mo plays a pivotal part in MR. CINEMA and delivers a memorable and deeply affecting performance that will resonate with members of Hong Kong nation who have a loving, hard-working mother in their lives. Unfortunately, her chances of winning in this category are hampered by the fact that she really belongs in the supporting actress category instead of the one for lead actress. It is an outstanding performance but it may not be enough to topple the work turned in by …

1. Siqin Gaowa (THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNT)

Though it was in service to a film that doesn’t quite work, Siqin Gaowa gives the richest performance among the nominees. Siqin Gaowa in THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNTShe shows a great range as her character transforms from a vibrant and independent Shanghai woman to a demoralized woman who is forced to move back in with her estranged family in Manchuria after time and circumstance have beaten all the spark out of her. The performance is fine-tuned and nuanced, punctuated by appropriate moments of haughtiness, vulnerability and then despair.

By any objective measure, it is, by far, the best performance of the year. Yet, I have the same head-heart dilemna with it as I did with the film. My head tells me that Siqin Gaowa deserves the victory but my heart wants Teresa Mo to win.

Image credits: Tesbury (Monie Tung), Golden Scene (Charlene Choi), Beijing Poly-bona Film Publishing Co. Ltd. (Siqin Gaowa)

Welcome to The Tea House

Welcome to The Tea House where I get ready for the day I become the benevolent dictator of the Republic of Sanneyistan by coming down from my hermetic cyber-mountain top and interacting with my loyal subjects, uh, readers.

Siu Mai dumplingsI was going to call this feature “Sanney’s Mailbag” but I only received Congressional approval for an e-mail address this past weekend (go here for details) and “Sanney’s Comment Box” sounds like something you need to fill with kitty litter. In the end, I decided to play off the House Where Words Gather theme and call this feature “The Tea House”. Picture all of us sitting at a table and having a pleasant conversation while sharing a nice big pot of tea and some freshly-steamed siu mai dumplings (燒賣).

Let’s start things off with some comments on the comments from the last post “Sypmathy for Mr. Imprudence”:

Eliza Bennet writes: Comparing her [Cecilia Cheung] to Maggie of now would not be fair. Better compare her to Maggie of her age. But Tang Wei? Her performance was not bad at all but all the nostril flaring didn’t bring anything new at the table. I’d like to see her do something else before I form an opinion on her acting prowess.

aircompass writes: I think it’s much too early to place Tang Wei’s talent. She’s certainly a charming and intelligent girl, but one decent performance does not a Maggie Cheung make.

I adore Cecilia Cheung, however. I think she always brings something good to the table, and I think she’s a very reliable and effective dramatic actress.

Upon reflection, I wish I would have done a better job of writing that last paragraph about Cecilia Cheung’s acting. I didn’t mean to compare her with Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk or Tang Wei. I was referring to the type of role and not the actresses. I should have written: “I don’t think she has the chops to give a subtle performance required by complex roles like Su Li-Zhen/Mrs. Chan from IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE or Wang Chia-Chih/Mak Tai-Tai from LUST, CAUTION.”

I think Cecilia Cheung is a solid actress. She has a great screen presence that engages you and makes you care about her characters even if they are a dopey shopping addict or some otherworldly, mystical hot babe. It’s just that I don’t think her acting skills are refined enough to handle roles that call for a lot of subtlety.

By the way, I agree with aircompass about Tang Wei. She gives an outstanding performance in LUST, CAUTION but it’s way too early to place a “Screen Queen” crown on her head.

* * * * *

Glenn writes: I think I’ve made my love for Cecilia’s acting well known on this site; I’m a sucker for her crying bits where her already raspy voice gets even further choked up. Works every time for me.

Man, I’m feelin’ ya on this one. The raspiness is the vocal equivalent of a hot babe wearing nothing but a men’s white tuxedo shirt.

* * * * *

Eliza Bennet writes: Edison Chen at the press con (heh) didn’t seem sincere to me. It actually seemed like he was expecting some sort of a reaction from everyone.

He didn’t strike me as entirely sincere either. His proclamation that he was going to dedicate himself to “charity and community work” seemed about as genuine as O.J. Simpson declaring, years ago, that he was going to dedicate himself to “finding the real killers”. I was just saying that despite the prepared script, you could sense that — at the core — there was a real human who has been severely humiliated. By contrast, at their press event, EEG chose to present corporate creation Gillian Chung™ instead of genuine human Gillian Chung so it was hard for people to connect with her and feel any real sympathy for her plight.

* * * * *

Viktor writes: I find it is a disgrace that the people involved are now judged by the quality or authenticity of their press conferences. The fact remains that they did no wrong to anybody (the allusion to Nixon’s crookery in “Sexy Photos Gate” is malicious, to say the least).

I don’t think anyone is trying to equate what Edison Chen and his partners did in private to Nixonian crookery. Adding the “-gate” suffix to any sort of controversy has just become a convenient way for the media to label scandals. Earlier this month, the Obama-Clinton race for the Democratic presidential nomination begat “NAFTAgate”. Since September, American football fans have been subjected to endless talk about “Spygate”. I think that “-gate” has become mostly disassociated with the original Watergate scandal. If you go to Wikipedia, you can see a list of more than twenty scandals that have had “-gate” attached to it.

 

east_west.jpg

The Eastern Heretic and the Poisonous West (left) with their American counterparts the Venerable West (centre) and the Eastern Dowager (right).

Linguistically speaking, I’ll admit that I was surprised when I saw that the Chinese media attached “-gate” to the scandal. Chinese and English are so different, it’s often difficult to translate concepts from one language to the other. You don’t see the American media calling Senator John McCain of Arizona the “Venerable West” or Senator Hillary Clinton of New York the “Eastern Dowager”. I’m guessing that, for logistical reasons like article length and headline length, calling it “Sexy Photos Gate” was easier than using the unwieldy “Edison-Gillian-Bobo-Cecilia Picture Scandal”. Moreover, the latter became inaccurate when more starlets became involved.

As for Gillian Chung and Edison Chen being judged by their respective press conferences, I’ll paraphrase Hyman Roth from THE GODFATHER, PART II and say simply: “this is the business they’ve chosen”.

Besides, I think most people are judging Gillian Chung™ and Edison Chen™ rather than the actual Gillian Chung or the Ruby Wong Cheuk-Ling in PTUactual Edison Chen. I think you have to be very naive or very foolish if you don’t understand that there is a distinction between the public persona and the private person. Based on how he presents himself to the public eye, you’re entitled to have an opinion like Edison Chen™ is a poseur — a dopey, bad-boy wannabe who, if caught in a gunfight, would probably pull a Ruby Wong from PTU rather than take nine to the body like 50 Cent. However, unless you know him personally, it’s impossible to have a reasonable opinion on the actual Edison Chen. Put it this way, there has got to be a difference between Edison Chen™ and the actual Edison Chen. There must be something endearing about the actual Edison Chen because multiple women liked him enough to have relations with him and trusted him enough to let him take compromising photographs of them.

By the way, congratulations to Shawn Yue Man-Lok! I think it’s now safe to declare him the winner of the long and bitter Shawn Yue-Edison Chen “teen idol” rivalry.

* * * * *

Glenn writes: While I do agree that Charlene [Choi Cheuk-Yin] is the more talented of the Twins, I can’t recall anything memorable beyond comedy roles — has she done anything even close to drama? I haven’t watched Diary yet; maybe that will prove me wrong? She was good in Leave Me Alone and My Wife is 18 — made that film far better than it should have been.

My memory may be faulty so the timeline may be slightly off but I believe Charlene Choi established her dramatic acting bona fides way back in 2000-2001 before EEG hooked her up with Gillian Chung. I believe both HEROES IN LOVE and FUNERAL MARCH were made and released before Twins released their first album in the Autumn of 2001. While Ah Sa got nominated for the Best New Artist HKFA for her role as a “girl with a terminal disease” in FUNERAL MARCH (losing an honourable decision to Karena Lam Ka-Yan’s performance in JULY RHAPSODY), HEROES IN LOVE was the better showcase of her young acting talents.

* * * * *

A comment about Damn You, Kozo!Kozo’s rant about inconsistent romanization brought to mind a conversation I had “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-Ilrecently with someone about “legacy kids” (children of people who are rich, powerful or famous). This person, who shall remain nameless, hates George W. Bush with a passion and was trying to make the argument that, generally speaking, legacy kids grow up in a pampered environment so they don’t develop the skills that allow them to handle important positions when they are adults. I have to admit that I found the argument convincing until the person used Kim Jong-Il as another example of an “incompetent legacy kid”. It’s not that I think Kim Jong-Il is doing a bang-up job governing North Korea, it’s that the person I was talking to referred to Kim Jong-Il as Kim Jong II (Kim Jong The Second).

* * * * *

A little help … Any Microsoft Excel experts out there? I’m flirting with the idea of running a Hong Kong Film Awards predictions contest and I need someone to help me develop a formula so that I can determine the winner without having to manually go through every entry. If you can help, please get in touch with me.

* * * * *

Have you seen PROTEGE? If you have, please read this post and discuss the ending with me.

 

IMAGE CREDITS: Lung Poon Restaurant (Siu Mai), TVB (Screen grab from LEGEND OF THE CONDOR HEROES), The Huffington Post (John McCain, Hillary Clinton), Milkyway Image (Ruby Wong), Reuters (Kim Jong-Il)

The 26th Hong Kong Film Awards

Updated at 10:52 pm

The 26th Hong Kong Film Awards were presented Sunday evening at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsimshatsui. AFTER THIS OUR EXILE was the big winner with five awards (Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor and Best New Performer). However, its lead actor, Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing, was not able to capitalize on the film’s winning momentum as the favourite going into the evening was upset by crowd favourite Lau Ching-Wan (left). Lau, 43, won the Best Actor prize over Kwok for his performance in MY NAME IS FAME. A twenty-four year veteran of the entertainment circle, Lau finally broke his shutout in the Best Actor category after being nominated seven times previously for LOST IN TIME (2003), VICTIM (1999), THE LONGEST NITE (1997), FULL ALERT (1997), BIG BULLET (1996), C’EST LA VIE, MON CHERIE (1994) and THOU SHALT NOT SWEAR (1993). A thunderous round of applause erupted in the Cultural Centre when Lau’s name was announced. After shaking hands with fellow nominee Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Lau made his way on to the stage and joked: “I hope I’m given a little more time. After all, I’ve waited so long.”

He went on to say: “I had a feeling I would win when I saw that the HKFAA (Hong Kong Film Awards Association) picked ‘passing the torch’ as its theme this year. Because of that, I knew the award would go to a youngster like me. I want to thank Brother Chau-Sang (Anthony Wong Chau-Sang), Brother Sing-Sing (Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing) and Brother Chiu-Wai (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai). I will take the torch and work hard.”

Related images:

Gong Li and her cleavage (right) won the Best Actress prize for their work in CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER. Gong, who did not attend the ceremony, won her first Hong Kong Film Award after being nominated previously for her roles in A TERRACOTTA WARRIOR (1990) and TEMPTRESS MOON (1996). In a phone interview with Oriental Daily News, Gong said: “I’m very surprised. I didn’t think that I would win. I thank the HKFAA for giving me something that I’ve longed many years for. Although I’ve won many international awards, this is the first time I’ve won in Hong Kong. Every time I win an award, it has something to do with Zhang Yimou. He really brings me good luck. I have to clarify one thing: There are rumours that I didn’t go to the awards because I didn’t like the way the HKFA booked my accommodations. I want to let people know that I have a house in Hong Kong and don’t need to stay in a hotel. I didn’t make it to the awards because I’m working in America.”

AFTER THIS OUR EXILE was Patrick Tam Ka-Ming’s first directorial effort in sixteen years. His last film was 1989’s MY HEART IS THAT EXTERNAL ROSE. Accepting his directing award, Tam told the crowd: “Thank you to the HKFA for supporting me. I wish to thank the cast and crew as well as God for giving me such an excellent gift.”

Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Tam was asked for his thoughts about the successful night for AFTER THIS OUR EXILE. Tam: “I can’t say getting all the awards was expected or unexpected because there was no way to predict but I feel disappointed for Sing-Sing (Aaron Kwok). He really did a lot for this film. However, awards aren’t our main goal. The main thing is for everyone to see the hard work we put into the movie.”

Eight year-old Gouw Ian Iskanda won two awards, Best Supporting Actor and Best New Performer, for his role in AFTER THIS OUR EXILE. He was the first actor to win both the new performer award and an acting award in the same year since Karena Lam Ka-Yan (JULY RHASPODY) did it five years ago. To the suprise of many, Iskanda beat out veterans Simon Yam Tat-Wah (ELECTION 2), Nick Cheung Ka-Fai (ELECTION 2) and Liu Ye (CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER) in the Best Supporting Actor category. Surprised himself, Iskanda had to be prompted to go on stage to collect his second award of the evening. Shellshocked, the child actor was at a loss for words and managed only to say: “I never thought I’d win twice … I learned a lot from making this film. I’m very happy. I’ll continue to work hard.”

More composed when speaking to reporters following the ceremony. Iskanda told reporters that he was looking forward to the spoils of victory. Iskanda: “I was going to get a reward of a Nintendo Wii and ten games for winning. Now that I’ve won twice, I think I should be getting twenty games.”

Asked if he was going to be an actor when he grows up, Iskanda replied that he wanted to be a “tennis player” instead.

Related images:

Daniel Wu (Ng Yin-Tso) took home the award for Best New Director (THE HEAVENLY KINGS). He accepted the award with his Alive bandmates Conroy Chan Chi-Chung, Terence Yin (Wan Chi-Wai) and Andrew Lin Hoi because he views THE HEAVENLY KINGS as a group achievement rather than an individual one. Asked if winning the directing award means that he will focus more on directing rather than acting in the future, Wu said that he probably wouldn’t because he “feels more comfortable acting”. Related image (courtesy Ming Pao Daily):

Sir Run Run Shaw (Siu Yat-Fu) was given a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Hong Kong cinema. The 100 year-old Shaw did not accept the award in person, however, because he was not feeling well enough to attend the ceremony. Flanked by a contingent of Shaw Studio veterans that included Ti Lung, Gordon Liu (Lau Kar-Fai) and Jimmy Wang Yu, Shaw’s eldest son and presumptive heir, Siu Wai-Ming, accepted the award on Shaw’s behalf. Related image (courtesy Ming Pao Daily):

A reflection, perhaps, of his sometimes stand-offish relationship with the Hong Kong Film Awards, acclaimed director Johnnie To Kei-Fung was shut out at this year’s award despite receiving nine nominations for his films ELECTION 2 and EXILED. To, as he has done regularly in the past, did not attend the ceremony.

Big names Zhang Yimou, Chow Yun-Fat and Jet Li were also not present at the awards.

More from the awards ceremony following the list of results.

RESULTS FROM THE 26TH HONG KONG FILM AWARDS

For a detailed list of the nominees: See the official Hong Kong Film Awards website

BEST FILM: AFTER THIS OUR EXILE 父子

  • Presented by: Vision Film Workshop, Black & White Films Ltd.
  • Executive Producer: Chiu Li-Kuang (邱瓈寬)

BEST DIRECTOR: Patrick Tam Ka-Ming (譚家明) for AFTER THIS OUR EXILE

BEST SCREENPLAY: Patrick Tam Ka-Ming, Tian Koi-Leong (田開良) for AFTER THIS OUR EXILE

BEST ACTOR: Lau Ching-Wan (劉青雲) for MY NAME IS FAME (我要成名)

BEST ACTRESS: Gong Li (鞏俐) for CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER (滿城盡帶黃金甲)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Gouw Ian Iskanda (吳澋滔) for AFTER THIS OUR EXILE

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Zhou Xun (周迅) for THE BANQUET (夜宴)

BEST NEW PERFORMER: Gouw Ian Iskanda for AFTER THIS OUR EXILE

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Andrew Lau Wai-Keung (劉偉強) , Lai Yiu-Fai (黎耀輝) for CONFESSION OF PAIN (傷城)

BEST FILM EDITING: Eric Kong Chi-Leung (鄺志良) for BATTLE OF WITS (墨攻)

BEST ART DIRECTION: Huo Tingxiao (霍廷霄) for CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER

BEST COSTUME AND MAKE-UP DESIGN: Yee Chung-Man (奚仲文) for CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER

BEST ACTION CHOREOGRAPHY: Yuen Woo-Ping (袁和平) for FEARLESS (霍元甲)

BEST ORIGINAL FILM SCORE: Peter Kam Pui-Tat (金培達) for ISABELLA (伊莎貝拉)

BEST ORIGINAL FILM SONG: “The Chrysthanthemum Terrace” (菊花台) from CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER sung by Jay Chou (周杰倫)

  • Composer: Jay Chou
  • Lyrics: Vincent Fang Wenshan (方文山)

BEST SOUND DESIGN: Nakom Kositpaisa for RE-CYCLE (鬼域)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Ng Yuen-Fai (吳炫輝) , Chas Chau Chi-Shing (鄒志盛), Emil Yee Kwok-Leung (余國亮) , Alex Lim Hung-Fung (林洪峯) for RE-CYCLE

BEST NEW DIRECTOR: Daniel Wu (吳彥祖) for THE HEAVENLY KINGS (四大天王)

BEST ASIAN FILM: RIDING ALONE FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES (千里走單騎) from Mainland China

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Sir Run Run Shaw (Siu Yat-Fu, 邵逸夫)

NOTES FROM THE CEREMONY:

- Despite rumours suggesting that their 18-year relationship was in peril, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Carina Lau Ka-Ling attended the ceremony hand-in-hand. The two also presented the Best Film award together. Of late, the couple has been plagued by rumours that Leung left Lau over Lau’s alleged “friendship” with Taiwanese tycoon Terry Guo Tai-Ming (Taiwan’s richest man and, according to Forbes, the 176th richest man in the world).

Related images:

- Teresa Mo Shun-Kwun was the first celebrity to show up on the red carpet. Mo: “I got here at 6:50 pm and waited around for a while before stepping out yet I’m still the first one here. Showing up early is a bad habit that I have to correct.”

For the record, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Carina Lau Ka-Ling were the last celebrities to arrive. Related image (courtesy Oriental Daily News):

- The boys from Alive, their musical director Paul Wong Kwoon-Chung and an entourage of twenty to thirty people arrived on a big yellow bus. Daniel Wu brought his girlfriend model Lisa S., Andrew Lin Hoi had his wife on his arm and Conroy Chan Chi-Chung was accompanied by his wife Josie Ho Chiu-Yi. Paul Wong performed during the cermony.

Related images:

FASHION NOTES:

- “Tube dresses” and “clutch purses” were all the rage at this year’s ceremony.

- Kelly Lin (Lam Hei-Lui), Huo Siyan (MY NAME IS FAME), Eva Huang Shengyi and Shu Qi turned heads with their eye-catching fashions. Related images:

- Rene Liu (Lau Yeuk-Ying) shocked many by dressing like a man. Related image (courtesy Ming Pao Daily):

- Oriental Daily News asked fashion designer Dorian Ho (official website) to comment on some of the fashions worn by the stars. His thoughts:

- Miriam Yeung Chin-Wai wore an elegant dress designed by Tomas Chan. However, her “rough demeamour” at the ceremony was not a match with the outfit’s elegance. Speculating that Yeung is still into her character as a fishmonger for her new film HOOK ON YOU, Ho remarked: “She might as well have done like Rene Liu and dressed like a man.”

- On South Korean star Song Hye-Kyo, Ho commented: “Her hair style is old-fashioned and her dress was just average. She doesn’t look a bit like a big star. She’s very pretty but the way she presented herself tonight was just a disappointment.”

- Ho had high praise for EEG personalities Isabella Leong Lok-Si and Charlene Choi Cheuk-Yin. Ho: “Ah Sa (Choi) usually gets criticized for what she wears but she looked pretty good this time. She has a body type that’s very hard to dress so what she’s wearing is not bad. Besides, she’s wearing a brand, J. Mendel, that I really like.”

As for Isabella Leong, Ho said: “She frankly deserves some praise. A dress like that, with all those levels, can be very intimidating to wear but, with her height, she pulls it off. It’s a good fit. I think she’s really improving the way she dresses. Her fashion sense is starting to match the potential that she shows.”

Related images:

OTHER IMAGE LINKS:

Courtesy Oriental Daily News: THE BANQUET’s Zhou Xun; Chapman To Man-Chat and his wife Kristal Tin Yui-Lei; Stephy Tang Lai-Yan; Tang, Alex Fong Lik-Sun and some of the other former Cookies

Courtesy The Sun: Fellow winners Zhou Xun and Lau Ching-Wan exchange pleasantries; Jay Chou and Tony Ching Siu-Tung; Matthew Medvedev from ROB-B-HOOD; Kara Hui (Wai Ying-Hung)

Courtesy Ming Pao Daily: Zhou Xun accepts her award from presenter Miriam Yeung; Zhou; Anita Yuen Wing-Yi; Jay Chou

Oriental Daily News Photo Gallery Slideshow (Macromedia Flash Required)

On The Threshold Between 哥哥 And "Uncle"

I was going to write an entry on ISABELLA and its young star Isabella Leong Lok-Si for today’s post but that would mean I’d have to talk about an actress who was born after 1980. As one of your fellow readers chided me for in an e-mail about my last post, all the actresses I mentioned were, as Jessica Simpson would say, “ancient”. I even mentioned one, Ha Ping, who was born in 1937 — 1937! In my defence, I did mention Joyce Cheng Yan-Yee (born 1987) and came close with Niki Chow Lai-Kei (born 1979). In the future, I promise I will write posts extensively slurping the likes of Crystal Liu Yifei (born 1987), Katrina Bwden (born 1988) and Sarah Carter (born 1980) but, for now, I’ll stick to my old-fogeyism and talk about items I recently discovered on some favourite actresses born before 1975 — even though it puts me perilously close to crossing the threshold between being called 哥哥 (”gor-gor” or brother) and being called “uncle”.

Here we go:

  • Ruby Wong Cheuk-Ling is now Mrs. Ruby Yu Cheuk-Ling. Reportedly, she got married in Las Vegas during the summer of 2005 to a non-entertainment circle personality named “Mr. Yu”. This probably spells the end of her acting career.
  • Blasts from the recent past: Carrie Ng Ka-Lai, Yvonne Yung Hung, Kathy Chow Hoi-Mei (not to be confused with Kathy Chow Man-Kei, model/sister of Niki Chow Lai-Kei), Loletta Lee Lai-Chun (Lee in action) and Christy Chung Lai-Tai were all contestants last year on LET’S SHAKE IT (舞林大會) — a Mainland television station’s version of DANCING WITH THE STARS. (Click links to see promotional stills of the actresses.)Other HK personalities that participated included: Law Kar-Ying, Shing Fui-On (I guess Baat Leung-Gum aka Bobby Yip King-Sun was busy), Michelle Mai Suet, Lawrence Ng Kai-Wah, Wong Hei, Elvis Tsui Kam-Kong, Karen Mok Man-Wai, Gigi Leung Wing-Kei and EEG starlets: Yumiko Cheng Hei-Yi, Charlene Choi Cheuk-Yin, Gillian Chung Yan-Tung and Joey Yung Tso-Yi. While it’s nice to see Carrie Ng actually doing something (I don’t think she’s been in a film or made a significant television appearance in more than five years), it’s a shame that one of the better actresses of the 1990s — she won the HKFA Best Supporting Actress award for her performance in Jacob Cheung Chi-Leung’s vastly under-appreciated THE KID — can’t get good work.Related LET’S SHAKE IT links: Official site (as with most Mainland sites, it’s very slow), promotional poster, Elvis Tsui (1, 2, 3), Joey Yung, Charlene Choi (1, 2) and Gillian Chung (YouTube video of Gillian Chung dancing).
  • As far as movies are concerned, it appears Sammi Cheng Sau-Man continues to be missing-in-action. Meanwhile, Miriam Yeung Chin-Wah is working on a Milkyway Image film called HOOK ON YOU with Eason Chan Yik-Shun. The romantic comedy has the two playing fishmongers. Sounds cute. By the way, Miriam Yeung spent part of 2006 working on a Mainland television series.
  • Fennie Yuen Kit-Ying is not doing much besides getting photographed going out to various spots with friends. As far as I can tell, her latest appearance was in an August 2006 episode of the TVB show BEAUTIFUL COOKING (video highlights from the show). Sadly, her skin-and-bones look at the taping (1, 2) has re-ignited suspicion that she’s suffering again from an eating disorder. Also, there were rumours that she is involved in a same-sex relationship. Related link: Fennie Yuen photo gallery courtesy Sing Tao Net.
  • Michelle Reis (Lee Ka-Yan) is supposedly going to marry a rich tycoon sometime this year but he, uh, has to finalize his divorce first. They’ve been seeing each other for several months and have, reportedly, already made wedding plans. I’m not a fortuneteller but I could see this coming (Michelle Reis marrying a rich guy not the “have to get divorced first” part) since about, oh, 1993.
  • Pinky Cheung Man-Chi is wrapping up her contract with ATV then exploring opportunities elsewhere.
  • … and, finally, on a few actresses born after January 1, 1975: Yoyo Mung Ka-Wai, Niki Chow Lai-Kei and Fiona Yuen Choi-Wan are all working for TVB in various capacities. On the personal front: Yoyo Mung is involved with Kozo’s boy Ekin Cheng Yi-Kin. Niki Chow is rumoured to be dating TVB co-worker Kevin Cheng Ka-Wing while Fiona Yuen is supposedly going out with some Canadian dude. Unfortunately, the Canadian dude is not me.

And now for some non-actress related items:

  • Heavenly Kings Round-Up: It appears Andy Lau Tak-Wah is still the hardest working man in the entertainment circle while Leon Lai Ming is making more news for being in a relationship with Gaile Lok Gei-Yi than anything else (he has, however, a concert series coming up in April). Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing got some dap for his performance in AFTER THIS OUR EXILE while Jacky Cheung Hok-Yau had problems with a domestic worker in between appearances at various events that included the recent Asian Games.
  • Would some kind soul do me a favour and save me the effort of looking up how THE PROMISE and THE BANQUET were received last year? Did they get acclaim or did they stink the joint like previous bloated and over-hyped attempts for international prestige? Are they worth watching? Surprisingly, I’ve seen THE PROMISE on the shelf of my local Blockbuster.Also, anyone know what’s up these days with Stephen Chiau Sing-Chi?

Bringing a close to today’s post:

Some things never change. Back in December, when I heard about Yumiko Cheng Hei-Yi’s “wardrobe malfunction”, I thought it was much ado about nothing. I mean, you didn’t really see anything, so what’s the big deal — right? Of course, at that point, I hadn’t been exposed to Chinese-language media for ten months so I had forgotten some of its idiosyncracies and its fascination with things like “revealing points” and “accidental exposures”. It’s hilarious that this photo of Charlene Choi Cheuk-Yin (courtesy PhoenixTV.com) qualifies as an “accidental underpants exposure” (露底):

c_choi_shake_it.jpg 

This just goes to show how sexually-repressed Chinese culture still is in the 21st Century. Then again, it’s only been 95 years since the Qing Dynasty ended (February 12, 1912) so “one step at a time”. After all, China is only just now trying to get a man on the moon (something the Americans did almost 40 years ago) so it’ll probably be thirty some years before a young Chinese starlet shaves her head bald, smashes a car with a golf club and goes in-and-out of rehab, four, five times a day. I was going to use an Anna Nicole Smith analogy here but well it’s, uh, already sort of happened in the entertainment circle milieu. Remember Pauline Chan Bo-Lin?

 
 
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