Saturday, November 28, 2009

Golden Horse Awards: Maggie Cheung, Ang Lee, Leon Dai, Tsai Ming-liang

Maggie Cheung alert!
She walked the Taiwanese red carpet today in this white number to your left. She was presenting Best Picture at the Golden Horse Awards. The Golden Horse is Taiwanese in origin but it's for Chinese language films regardless of country of origin so it's very competitive now. Warlords and Lust, Caution, which both had international releases, were recent winners of Best Picture.

This year, Maggie handed the trophy to No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti which, if we ever see it in the States, might be called I Can't Live Without You or Not Without You. That's Taiwan's submission for this year's Foreign Language Film Oscar race. The film is from actor/director Leon Dai and it's about a poor man who loses his daughter once the government learns of their illegal living conditions.

No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti (2009) from Taiwan

Best Picture: No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti
Best Director: Leon Dai, No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti
This prize was presented by four previous winners: Ang Lee, Ho Hsiao Hsien, Johnny To and Stanley Kwan. Imagine receiving your prize from that illustrious quartet.
Best Actress: Bingbing Li, The Message
You may have seen her last year in The Forbidden Kingdom. The Message is an espionage thriller

Best Actor: Was a tie for the first time in Golden Horse history.
Nick Cheung
in Ching Yan (aka The Beast Stalker) a police drama
Bo Huang in Dou Niu (aka Cow) as a Chinese peasant protecting his livestock in the 1940s
Supporting Actor: Xueqi Wang, Mei Lanfang which is China's Oscar submission this year, a biopic about a famous opera star which also stars Zhang Ziyi
Supporting Actress: Kara Hui, Sham Moh
Original Screenplay: No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti
Adapted Screenplay: Dou Niu
Cinematography: City of Life and Death

Tsai Ming-Liang's gives good eye candy in Visage (Face)

Art Direction: Face
Makeup and Costume Design: Face
Choreography: Ip Man ... choreography is one of those prizes, like stunts, that one has to wonder why the Oscars never thought to reward.
Visual Effects: Fengkuang de Saiche (aka Crazy Racer)
Film Editing: KJ: Music and Life
Sound Effects: KJ: Music and Life
Original Score: The Equation of Love and Death
Original Song: "For My Heart"
Documentary: KJ: Music and Life
Lifetime Achievement: Ming Ji (I'm not sure who this is or why they were rewarded since there are several Ming Jis or Ji Mings listed at IMDB)
Special Contribution: George Wang

Maggie presented Best Picture alone at the ceremony but said publicly that she most wanted to present it with Tony Leung Chiu Wai (her frequent co-star) and Carina (his wife). As Tony -- TFE reader, not the movie star ;) -- reminded me in conversation, this will undoubtedly cause a media stir since Tony & Maggie's
relationship is always primo gossip fodder.

Here's a bit of the fashions on the red carpet. In order of appearance: Terri Kwan (star of Prince of Tears, another Oscar submission this year), Ting Ting Hu
(Ghosted), Lynn Hung, the beauty in yellow plays Ip Man's wife and she's the real life girlfriend of Aaron Kwo, Maggie and Ang, Lunmei Kwai (in black), Shu Qi (who you'll recognize) walks with Ho Hsiao Hsien, Best Actress winner Li Bingbing is with Alec Su (in the leather pants), Yung-yung Chan star of Yang Yang, Vivian Hsu is wearing a necklace that I can't stop staring at.

Speak up if you've seen any of these films. A few of you surely have. And can we get a petition going to pull Maggie Cheung out of retirement, please?


J.L said...

I've seen Ip Man. It was generally boring, but had great fighting scenes.

S said...

The Message is considered one of the best Chinese drama films this year. While the stellar cast(to mainland Chinese anyway)all dedicate strong performances, Xun Zhou's performance is the most critical acclaimed and movie fans supported(also nominated). But since she had won the golden horse in 2006, well I guess it should not be a surprise Bingbing Li got the award...


@S -- well hopefully it'll travel here. I mean look what happened to Internal Affairs. I wish we had better routes of film distribution.

@JL -- they're making a sequel already. Plus Wong Kar Wai's making a film on the same subject isn't he?

@Everyone -- i want to hear from more Maggie Cheung fans. Apparently Ang Lee says on the red carpet here that he wants to work with her. I can't believe she's retired. I can't believe she isn't in Inglourious Basterds (sniffle) and I can't believe she'll stay retired. You just don't give up a gift like that.

Anonymous said...

Bingbing Li winning over Xun Zhou is a disgusting joke. For those who may not have a clue, acting wise, if Xun Zhou is like Bette Davis, then Bingbing Li would be Anne Baxter at best.


anon -- but i've heard the Golden Horse are often entirely unpredictable. is this true?

Anonymous said...

Not exactly. Certainly, no award can be as predictable as the Oscars, but there are always obvious clues in the Golden Horse. Most of the times, even the most upsetting wins are not that shocking. For instance, Joan Chen winning over Wei Tang.

S said...

Ip Man is really popular among Chinese.Fighting scenes,Donnie Yen's acting,the pace of the whole movie...Even Wong Kar Wai said he regretted not done his version earlier after seeing Yen's version because it is so brilliant.Though I love Tony dearly, I think Wong Kar Wai's version of Yip Man won't be as entertaining...

Knox said...

Dear Nathan,

As a movie lover in Taiwan and an avid reader of your blog, I'm very pleasantly surprised you have this coverage of the Golden Horse. Thank you!

Have you finally seen Face?

J.L said...

Well I'm hoping Wong Kar Wai's version will be lot better.

Alison said...

Maggie Cheung fan here. And of course a huge fan of Tony Leung. I love them separately but especially when they're together onscreen.

Did everyone see Red Cliff yet? It's wonderful. And Tony Leung is fabulous in it.

Rebecka said...

I have seen some of these movies but far from all. Have to agree that Li Bingbing winning over Zhou Xun was a bit strange. Nick Cheung was kinda predictable (he also won the Hong Kong film awards earlier.
Maggie looked gorgeous, as always! Why oh why is she retired? When I first heard she was going to be in Basterds I knew it was too good to be true...

I didn't think Ip Man was very good, but the fighting scenes were amazing. Wong Kar-wai has said that his version of this story is going to be entirely different and that's a movie I'm really looking forward to! They've started filming in Chikan recently, there was a pic posted some days ago of Wong and the cast (Leung, Zhang Zhen and Zhang Ziyi):


@Knox -- thank you so much for commenting. I sometimes feel like I have no Asian readers and i love Asian movies and would write about them more if info were easier to come by -- for example it usually takes IMDB a long time to post the winners of things like the Golden Horse.

oh and I have not seen Face yet

rebecka -- EEK. i want a way bigger version of that photo. and with Maggie it's just insane that she retired. i call foul.

Alison -- i liked Red Cliff and it's definitely worth seeing on the big screen but it was hard not to notice how much it had been chopped up for america. we lost half the movie(s)

Rebecka said...

Nathaniel - Here are several photos from the same occasion, much better quality (just spotted them on Baidu's forum for The Grand Master):

Rebecka said...

... And I just have to comment on Red Cliff (I'm european but I live in China so I saw the full version): The biggest problem for me with that movie was Leung's mandarin voice-over. I can't stand it when he's dubbed, it's just not the same.

Jeff said...

OMG! what a godess I love her!
she is definitely one of the best actress of all time, what performances she has given! I hope that we`ll see her i the future! it cant be definitive Maggie!

Alison said...

True, Nat. The entire thing, in two parts, is going to be available on Netflix eventually (you can save it now) and I definitely want to see the whole thing, but it won't be the same on the small screen.

Chusang said...

well, I agree that 'The Message'is one of the best Chinese films this year, I was surprised that the film wasn't nominated in Best Picture.

Anyway, I think Bingbing Li is worth winning, her performance is very very in-depth, espeically in the last few scenes, she beautifully portrayed a tragic woman who suffered from Wars and lost love.

Bingbing Li is a very prestigeous actress in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. She is the choice of best actress to many audience.

Yes, it's true that Xun Zhou's performance in 'The Message' is also brilliant and memorable. And her role is much like a leading one in compare with Bingbing's role. But, in my opinion, Bingbing deserved the award.

Also, I think Kara Hui (a.k.a Wai Ying Hung), who won the best supporting actress award for her breaktaking performance in 'At the End of Daybreak', brings the best female performance in Chinese cinema this year. She is a well-knowned and respected Hong Kong actress, she won the Best Actress award in the 1st HK Film Awards.So, it's a very good news to HK audience. (Here's the trailer of her winning film: )


R said...

I've seen Crazy Racer.It's like a
Guy Richtie film.

kin said...

I haven't seen any of the movies (yet), but I have random comments:

1. Ip Man won the HK Film Awards for best picture this year and its only other prize is also action choreography.

2. Kara Hui is also a TV actress and is nominated for the equivalent of the Emmys in Hong Kong (although not really because it is run by the TV network that has all of the popular shows in Hong Kong, but that's a whole other conversation). I love her in that TV drama though.

3. The lifetime achievement award went to a producer who is known as a trailblazer of Taiwan cinema. I am not 100% sure that his profile is on IMDB though.

kin said...

Oh and I just remembered that you did post about the HK film awards, so you are probably aware of #1. But just in case others didn't. :)

Peter Nellhaus said...

I saw Yang Yang at the Starz Denver Film Festival and wrote briefly about it. I might have liked it better if it hadn't been shot completely with a hand held camera.

As for Red Cliff, as you might have read on my site, I didn't wait and bought the full version on DVD, writing about Part II a few months ago.

BTW, Nathaniel: If you hit the HK Flix link on my site, they list region free DVDs of Asian films if you can't play Region 3.

Thanks for posting a full list of winners.

whatlobster said...

Another Taiwanese here. Kudos for covering the Golden Horse, Nate!

joy said...

"No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti" and "Cow" are two of the very best among all Chinese language films this year.

Base on actressexuality, i'll also recommend:

1. "The Equation of Love and Death"
The ultimate actressexual movie. Zhou Xun's career best. She should been nominated and won for this instead of "The Message". Luckily, she was awarded both Asian Film Award and Golden Roster Award ( China's Oscar ) .

2. "The Message"
Not a great film, but it's extremely actressexual. Zhou Xun and Li Bingbing are equally strong.

3. "Yang Yang"
Two Intense performances from Sandrine Pinna and Her Sy-Huoy.

BTW, Zhou Xun's "Stolen Life" is now available on Netfilx's instant watch, it won best film at 2005 Tribeca Film Festival. Her "Suzhou River" is also worth putting in the queue.

reassurance said...

You know I'll sign that petition for Maggie. But, really, it'd be for selfish reasons only; I wouldn't want to push someone back into the film world after they consciously left it. Plus, she's definitely left her mark, and it'll be there for a long time to come.

Yung-Wei said...

Here comes another big fan of your blog and Maggie from Taiwan! I was very surprised and of course very pleasant to read this article. Well done as usual, Nate!! Keep going!
Btw, I personally think Bingbing Li deserved the Best Actress Award. Compared to Xun Zhou's ebullient performance, Li had to hide her complex emotion and she definitely wasn't covered by Zhou. In the end, the torture scene was fabulous!
I highly recommand the best film winner "No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti" which exuded great humanistic concern and care to the society as it was based on a true story, and it was presented in black and white. The low-budget film caused a great impact with its touching story.
Also, here is a vedio of Maggie presenting the Best Film Award. She was so cute and elegant. She even said she wants to hug Tony's thigh. Haha~ It's in Chinese, anyway. I love her so much. Tang-Wei and Maggie are my favorite Chinese actress!

If you'd like to discuss about Asian movies with me or need any help. Feel free to ask me anytime:)
my e-mail and facebook:

Chusang said...

Re: Yung Wei, thanks for posting the video here. It's Chusang from Hong Kong. It's so nice to find there're a lot of Asian film fans here. Well done, Nathaniel!

Anyway, Maggie's appearance has become the highlight no doubts. She was totally the scene-stealer, and it's her very first time, making jokes about the rumor affairs between herslef and Tony Leung on stage. She is the newspaper headlines these two days in Hong Kong.

Anonymous said...

Every Joan Chen winning is well deserved (except, of course, those idiotic razzie nominations!!!); anyway Tang Wei received the breakhtrough trophy, so she didn't go home empty hands that particular year.

Yes, Maggie should come back working again! I missed her so much; no matter how many great performances she gave us that we could appreciate again and again thanks to dvds...I wanna new challenges, new roles, new great movies!

does Ang Lee want work with her? I hope he's serious telling this and not just acting as a gentleman (Ang Lee is a rather elegant person and I'm not talking just about the look)...he's a knack directing thespians, so with the good role, the good script, he could convince Maggie coming back

In which film would you like he direct her?



thanks to everyone commenting. i'm glad the post didn't go unnoticed. Now i've got to see some of these recommended films

bubba said...

I'd just like to join the Maggie love here... Her career was just starting to get even more interesting for me and she drops the retirement bomb. Ang Lee and Tsai Ming Liang have all expressed desires to work with her. It fell through with "Face", but I'm hoping Ang will pull through for all of us. I still think Maggie is just waiting for an interesting collaboration (she did agree to Tarantino's supportinc char, even though that got cut in the editing room...)

I haven't seen a lot of mandarin films this year, but personally, not a fan of "Red Cliff" or "Yang Yang". The former had a lot of very uninspiring directing choices that I felt were particularly cliched and cringe worthy (but <3 Tony), and "Yang Yang" suffered from singular-itis (not enough notes in the script and acting to elevate the subject).

Looking forward to "The Message" though.

PJ said...

Maggie Cheung is a goddess whose cinematic return we can only pray fervently for. And how amazing would it be if it involved Ang Lee or Tony Leung? (or both!)

Unknown said...

Maggie is a great actress. Hope she will appear on a big screen soon.

Unknown said...

Maggie is a great actress. Hope she will appear on a big screen soon.