On Sunday night, the biggest names in Hong Kong film graced the red carpet at the city’s biggest annual movie event, the Hong Kong Film Awards.
Young Post was there to cover the event live, but even before we found out who the winners were, there were five from this year’s list of nominated films that were our favourites.
Our Time Will Come
Leading the race with 11 nominations, Our Time Will Come is about legendary heroine Fang Lan (Zhou Xun), a member of a resistance group in 1940s Japanese-occupied Hong Kong. Having already been named Best Film at the ninth China Film Director’s Guild Awards, this poignant historical drama is carried largely by incredible performances given by Zhou and veteran actor Paw Hee-ching’s, who plays Fang’s mother.
With beautiful cinematography and a few choice action shots, the Ann Hui-directed film will show you the role Hong Kong’s youth played in defending freedom and independence.
Another strong nominee, receiving eight nods, is Love Education. This deeply moving, thoughtful film follows three generations of women living in China’s Henan province. By interweaving the women’s stories, Love Education traces the changes in familial and romantic relationships over time. Director Sylvia Chang’s brilliance shines both off and on screen, as she takes on the role of the anxious and controlling mother Qiu Huiying. Wa Yanshu, meanwhile, gives a complex performance as Qiu’s stepmother, the victim of an arranged marriage in a patriarchal society. The film’s theme song, Flowers in Blossom by Sitar Tan, is the perfect accompaniment.
Concerto of the Bully
Although not a Best Film nominee, this romantic comedy is a touching, feel-good watch. Starring singers Cherry Ngan and Ronald Cheng, it sees songwriter Jamie (Cheng) taken hostage. In the hope of escaping, Jamie attempts to give his captor, Yung (Ngan), music therapy. If the plot wasn’t strange enough, the film mostly takes place on a fish-farming raft especially built for the movie. It’s funny, emotional and aesthetically pleasing.
The theme song, An Unheard Melody, one of this year’s Best Original Film Song nominees, is also a sweet throwback to Cheng’s golden era in music.
This is Not What I Expected
This light-hearted Chinese-Hong Kong romantic comedy is about hotel executive Lu Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro) and sous chef Gu Shengnan (Zhou Dongyu) whose relationship blossoms as they work together to create world-class dishes to appease the picky Lu. Adapted from Lan Bai Se’s novel Finally I Get You, the movie’s lead actors display magical on-screen chemistry.
With loads of slapstick humour and an appropriately satisfying ending, this film will instantly improve any Friday evening. You’ll also enjoy the sweet, mellow voice of Cheer Chen singing When I Love You .
Lam Tsz-kwan (Chrissie Chau) and Wong Tin-lok (Joyce Cheng) share the same birthday, and both are struggling with society’s expectations of women as they approach 30. Adapted from director Kearen Pang’s one-woman play of the same name, 29+1 beautifully details Lam and Wong’s parallel lives, and artfully depicts the challenges faced by women in Hong Kong. It also offers the chance to reflect on the cruel judgement women face as they age. No matter your age or gender, this film will touch a nerve as you watch them try to find their way in life.