Oscar History

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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Entries in Andy Lau (8)


Golden Horse Winners: Stray Dogs, The Grandmaster, Ilo Ilo

 I watched the show live. I didn't understand a word but awards shows are universal. Full list of winners and what it might mean for Oscar (multiple Oscar submissions competed here) after the jump.

Click to read more ...


Golden Horse Wins

Today's Golden Horse Awards, the Chinese-Taiwanese Oscars, spread the wealth. Superstar Andy Lau (A Simple Life, Infernal Affairs, House of the Flying Daggers) had the honor of presenting Best Picture. It went to Beijing Blues but Beijing hardly dominated. Every BP Contender took home at least one prize and some of them major. 

I watched a bit of the ceremony live on the web even though I speak no Cantonese, Mandarin or Taiwanese. Awards shows are -- you'll never believe this -- a source of endless fascination to me. Yes, even if I have no clue what's going on.

I was told at one point though that the producers were asking the hosts to ad lib more since the ceremony was running short -- imagine it! Otherwise awards ceremonies speak a universal language. Consider the Best Actress category: silly presenter banter, 5 nominees, a mix of teary and elegant and 'why did they pick that?' clips, tense multi-camera grid as the winner is announced, and a tearful young beauty winning the big prize.

Also, just like it would happen at the Oscars, her equally pretty young male co-star (Joseph Chang) lost the counterpart male category to a mature and well respected character actor who'd paid his dues. The gender rules of awardage appear to be universal, too!

Best Picture Beijing Blues (pictured left) is a drama about a detective catching thieves
Audience Choice Gf*Bf (a popular youth-oriented romantic drama)
Best Director Johnny To Life Without Principle (Hong Kong's Oscar submission)
Best Actress Gwei Lun-Mei Gf*Bf 
Best Actor Ching Wan Lau Life Without Principle
Best Supporting Actress Liang Jing Design of Death
Best Supporting Actor Ronald Cheng Vulgaria 
Best New Performer Qi Xi Mystery 

 A complete list of winners and nominees can be found at the official Golden Horse site.


Adorable Acceptance Speech: Andy & Eugene

Remember last week when we were talking about the Asian Film Awards? Here is Eugene Domingo's acceptance speech for People's Choice Favorite Actress for the Philippines Oscar Submission Woman in a Septic Tank. She and Favorite Actor winner, the Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau really ham it up.

Yes. I am very famous."

Fun. Thanks to TFE devotee Reign for sending my way.

In other adorability news from Asian cinema, apparently this candid drunken photo of our favorite Asian movie star Tony Leung Chiu Wai was widely circulated on the net. My guess is he's drinking to forget that Wong Kar Wai, the auteur who bolstered Tony's international reputation, is still working on The Grand Masters. Will we ever see it?

They haven't worked together since 2046 (2004) and at the rate Wong Kar Wai is working they'll probably never work together again since Tony turns 50 in June. We'll totally celebrate.


"A Separation" Wins Big at the Asian Film Awards

Congralutations to Andy Lau (representing Hong Kong's Oscar submission A Simple Life) and Eugene Domingo (the star of The Philippine's Oscar submission Woman in a Septic Tank) who won the People's Choice Award for Actor and Actress at the 6th Annual Asian Film Awards.


They look so happy. The Oscars are long over but somehow it's comforting to know that people hold new trophies every day of the year for something or other and not all of them are dreaming of Oscar. And not all awards bodies are concerned with whether or not Oscar voters are watching.

It was a big night for A Separation (which we were just talking about) which took home the top prize and three others. The craft categories were mostly split between Wu Xia and The Flying Swords of Dragon Gale, neither of which have come to US cinemas.

The acting awards were all over the place both in terms of films and countries.

The Winners
Film A Separation [Iran]
Director Asghar Farhadi, A Separation [Iran]
Actress Deanie Ip, A Simple Life [Hong Kong]
Actor Donny Damara, Lovely Man [Indonesia] 
Newcomer Ni Ni, The Flowers of War [China] 
Supporting Actress Shemaine Buencamino, Nino [The Philippines]
Supporting Actor Lawrence Ko Jump, Ashin! [Taiwan] 

Donny Damara plays a transgendered father in "Lovely Man"

Screenplay Asghar Farhadi, A Separation [Iran]
Cinematography Jake Pollock & Lai Yiu-fai Wu Xia [China | Hong Kong]
Production Design Yee Chung-man, Sun Li, Wu Xia [China | Hong Kong] 
Score Chan Kwong-wing, Peter Kam, Chatchai Pongprapaphan, Wu Xia [China | Hong Kong]
Editor Hayedeh Safiyari, A Separation [Iran]
Visual Effects Wook Kim, Josh Cole, Frankie Chung, The Flying Swords of Dragon Gale [China | Hong Kong ]
Costume Design Yee Chung-man, Lai Hsuan-wu The Flying Swords of Dragon Gale [China | Hong Kong] 

The Flying Swords of Dragon Gale hasn't come to the States yet but since it stars Jet Li and it's action oriented, I suppose we'll get it at some point.

Special Awards Lifetime Achievement for Hong Kong director Ann Hui and The Edward Yang New Talent Awards for Indonesia's Edwin. 


Golden Horse Awards: Two Oscar Submissions Win Big

I'm so itching for a big American awards show to hit us. Soon, soon. But until then, let's look to Taipei where The Golden Horse Awards were just handed out.

As expected the hit Taiwanese film Warriors of The Rainbow: Seediq Bale took home Best Picture. There's the jubilant cast doing an aboroginal dance on the red carpet. Fun!

Andy Lau and Deanie YipThe big winners of the night are both Oscar submissions this year in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Taiwan's Seediq Bale which is a action drama about aboroginal tribes battling occupying Japanese forces won the top prize and four other statues including "Audience Choice". Hong Kong's caretaking drama A Simple Life must have been close to a surprise sweep since it managed three of the top four statues: Director, Actor and Actress.

Superstar Andy Lau won Best Actor for the second time. He'd previously won for an Infernal Affairs sequel (the original Infernal Affairs was remade into the Oscar winning The Departed where Matt Damon took on Lau's role). Lau then presented Best Actress a category wherein he'd worked with 3 of the 4 nominees. You can see Shu Qi, he calls her "the most huggable woman ever", grinning throughout the presentation. Best Actress went to Lau's costar and actual godmother Deanie Yip. She also won the Volpi Cup at Venice this year for this role as a grown man's lifelong help who he must then care for when she has a stroke.

Video, complete list of winners, and fashion after the jump.

Click to read more ...


"Golden Horse" Nominees Include Two Oscar Hopefuls

China's Oscar submission this year, Zhang Yimou's The Flowers of War (previously discussed) was not released in time to show up in the nominations for its own country's Oscar equivalent. Nevertheless two Asian submissions for this year's Best Foreign Film Oscar race are competing for the "Golden Horse". While there are multiple film awards which hail from Asia (it can be horribly confusing to follow) The Golden Horse is the oldest and most inclusive of the awards institutions as there are no nationality requirements, only that the film be predominantly in a Chinese language. As is our habit and general proclivity let's start with Best Picture and Best Actress, the two most important categories in any awards show.

Let the Bullets Fly, Piano in a Factory and A Simple Life (pictured) compete for "Best Feature Film" alongside "Return Ticket" and "Seediq Bale"

Best Picture

Let the Bullets Fly, set in the 20s, pits Chow Yun Fat (playing a local tyrant) against an intruding bandit chief for control of a provincial town. The Piano in a Factory is a dramedy about a child of divorce who lets it be known that she will live with whichever parent can provide her with a piano. Her money-strapped musician father concocts a plan to raise the money. I couldn't find much info on Return Ticket (damn those movie titles with utterly generic titles that lead you all the wrong places in google searches) The Oscar submissions are discussed on the Foreign Film Charts so chase those links above.

Best Actress 

Chen, Ip, Hailu and Shu Qi compete for Best Actress

  • Michelle Chen, You Are the Apple of My Eye
  • Deanie Ip, A Simple Life 
  • Qin Hailu, The Piano in the Factory
  • Shu Qi, A Beautiful Life

The Best Actress shortlist has a huge age range from 28 year old Chen (who looks even younger) to 63 year old frontrunner Deanie Ip who recently won Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival for her role as an aging nanny who needs the man she raised (Andy Lau) to care for her. The category is rounded out by superstar Shu Qi (sometimes credited as Qi Shu) who is familiar to international audiences from several films that have travelled the world (Millenium Mambo, Three Times, So Close, Transporter, etcetera). A Beautiful Life is described as a romantic tragicomedy in that it begins as a romcom only to veer towards disability drama as the beautiful gold-digging Shu Qi meets and mistreats a man who really loves her before he receives a terrible diagnosis.

Complete nominee list and controversial Oscar submission after the jump...

Click to read more ...


All Male Revue: Brad, Andy and Ryan (who is just too Ryan).

The Film Experience is known the world over for its actressy devotions but for this quickie link-list, we've gone Men Only for some reason. Must be all that Best Actor talk in the air... or rather in the internetz. On that front I would like to note that my Best Actor chart is HAUNTING ME. It went the way of the dinosaur once Moneyball hit... rendering past speculations moot and the html coding is suddenly acting up, too. Yes, Brad Pitt vaults up when the charts are all redone on Friday. Weekly updates, however minor, follow from then on. Aren't you excited?

Okay okay. Enough screams and tears of joy for weekly charts. Settle.

Hello Giggles a must-read letter to Ryan Gosling. "You have to stop. Just stop. It’s getting to be too much."
Oscar Metrics Mark Harris in the lonely outfield, doubting Brad Pitt's nominatability for Moneyball.  
In Contention surveys the crowded Best Actor field and talks Michael Fassbender and Michael Shannon.
Cinema Blend  Justin Timberlake has already played one man who rocked the rock world (Napster founder in The Social Network.)  Next he'll play Neil Bogart who introduced 70s acts like KISS and The Village People to the world in Spinning Gold.

Towleroad Actor Sean Maher (of Firefly and The Playboy Club) comes out of the closet.
Movie|Line talks to Corey Stoll of Midnight in Paris career-boosting.

Oh and only because I know I'll forget. A very happy 50th birthday to Andy Lau tomorrow. He's been super busy lately what with festival appearances, multiple new films and headlining the Hong Kong Oscar submission A Simple Life which stars Deannie Yip (Best Actress Venice) as his life long nanny who suddenly needs him to caretake. Please to remember that Lau was Matt Damon before Matt Damon was Matt Damon in The Departed by way of the original film Infernal Affairs. Have you ever seen that one?  

Here's the subtitled trailer to his Oscar entry A Simple Life.


Venice: "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and "A Simple Life"

[Editor's Note: Here's Manolis, a Greek reader who is covering Venice for The Film Experience. If you can read Greek, visit Cinema News for more of his festival coverage.]

The spy thriller was eagerly anticipated here in Venice and reaction was generally positive though some critics felt that something was missing. English is not my first language and with the heavy accents I did have a hard time following all of the twists of the intricate plot. But despite my difficult I was delighted that the film doesn’t underestimate your intelligence and demands your full attention throughout. The film's technical aspest are very impressive from sets to costumes to cinematography and Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) directs with stylish gusto, creating magnificent shots and frames. Though the spy movie genre doesn't generally promise the slow pacing that Alfredson chooses, it's an interesting approach. The performances follow this same tone, all of them toned down. The triumph of the ensemble cast is that you can feel that underneath the icy surface of the British mentality of the period, there is an array of emotions ready to explode. A simple gesture is, for these characters, far more important than a whole sentence. In fact, Gary Oldman only raises his voice once in the lead role of George Smiley in a wonderful monologue towards the end. Colin Firth and John Hurt are also very good as is Tom Hardy in a small but memorable role.  

The one thing I felt Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy lacked is a heart as it is a particularly cold experience. This not automatically a flaw for an intelligent espionage thriller but a small dose of warmth would have added to the whole a great deal considering that the film turns on loyalty, values and ideals. 

Andy Lau at the Venice premiere of A Simple LifeTAO JIE (A SIMPLE LIFE)
The second movie today was Tao Jie by Chinese filmmaker Ann Hui. The film takes place in Hong Kong and deals with the relationship between the thirtysomething Roger Lee (Andy Lau) and his elderly nanny Tao (Deannie Yip). The roles in this relationship are reversed when Tao gets seriously ill and can’t serve him anymore. It’s time for Roger Lee to rise to the occasion, learn to appreciate the things that he has taken granted and take care of this woman who was more than a mother to him all his life; she needs to know that someone will be there by her side in the last days.

A Simple Life has humor, pathos and sensitive performances and provides an interesting window for Westerners of the way the Chinese view their elders. The tender story has broad appeal but breaks no new ground and begins to drag towards the end.  Although comparisons to Yasujiro Ozu’s films would be unfair, they are inevitable and naturally not favorable for Hui’s film.