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17th Annual LoveHKFilm Awards

Once a year, the Awards hands out its own film awards. It's a much more democratic and much less defensible practice than the individual "Top 10" list so many film blogs and websites dispense annually, the caveat being our awards get announced very late. This year's voting ended in May, so you can see how ridiculous it can get.

This year, we changed the eligibility rules for the Awards, and considered mainland China films released in Hong Kong during the 2011 calendar
year. We wrote about the rule change here. As a result, Chinese films or co-productions ended up doing pretty well in our voting. If you have any China vs. Hong Kong film rhetoric to throw around, now would be the time.

As usual, we thank our jury, each of whom sat through many bad movies to find the good ones. Their dedication and tolerance is appreciated. A full list of jury members can be found below.


Best Picture
- Let The Bullets Fly
- Flying Swords of Dragon Gate
- Life Without Principle
- Starry Starry Night
- Wu Xia


Best Director

- Jiang Wen (Let The Bullets Fly)
- Jeff Lau Chun-Wai (East Meets West)
- Tsui Hark (Flying Swords of Dragon Gate)

- Johnnie To Kei-Fung (Life Without Principle)
- Chen Kaige (Sacrifice)
- Peter Chan Ho-Sun (Wu Xia)


Best Actor

- Ge You (Sacrifice)


- Chow Yun-Fat (Let The Bullets Fly)
- Jiang Wen (Let The Bullets Fly)
- Takeshi Kaneshiro (Wu Xia)
- Lau Ching-Wan (Life Without Principle)


Best Actress

Huang Yi (The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake)

- Fan Bing-Bing (Buddha Mountain)
- Gao Yuanyuan (Don't Go Breaking My Heart)
- Karen Mok Man-Wai (East Meets West)
- Xu Jiao (
Starry Starry Night)


Best Supporting Actor
- Aloys Chen (
Flying Swords of Dragon Gate)
- Kenny Bee (
East Meets West)
- Lo Hoi-Pang (Life Without Principle)

- Jimmy Wang Yu (Wu Xia)

- Wen Zhang (The Sorcerer and the White Snake)


Best Supporting Actress
- Guey Lun-Mei (Flying Swords of Dragon Gate)
- Huang Yi (
East Meets West)
- Kara Hui Ying-Hung (Wu Xia)

- Carina Lau Ka-Ling (Let The Bullets Fly)
- Tang Wei (Wu Xia)


Best Screenplay
- Zhu Sujin, Shu Ping, Jiang Wen, Guo Junli, Wei Xiao, Li Bukong (Let The Bullets Fly)
- Jeff Lau Chun-Wai (East Meets West)

- Milkyway Creative Team, Au Kin-Yee, Wong King-Fai (Life Without Principle)
- Chen Kaige (Sacrifice)

- Aubrey Lam Oi-Wah, Joyce Chan Ka-Yi (Wu Xia)


Best New Artist
- Wen Chao (Let's Go!)
- Eric Lin Hui-Min (Starry Starry Night)
- Jam Hsiao (The Killer Who Never Kills)
- Mini Yang (Mysterious Island)
- Zheng Shuang (Mural)


Best Action
- Donnie Yen Ji-Dan (Wu Xia)
- Yuen Bun, Sun Jian-Kui, Allen Lan Hai-Han (Flying Swords of Dragon Gate)
- Corey Yuen Kwai, Yuen Tak, Li Chung-Chi (Shaolin)
- Tony Leung Siu-Hung (
The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake)

All the Rest

Worst Picture
There was lots of competition for Worst Picture, but only Sleepwalker offered the triple threat of a pretentious script, a once-promising filmmaker and completely useless 3D. Add in a fruitless performance from an award-winning actress and you have a consensus pick for the year's biggest stinker. The awful red wig is the topper.


Most Underrated Film
East Meets West
Jeff Lau's postmodern nonsense comedy is creative and surprisingly affecting, and arguably his strongest film since the mid-nineties. However, audiences generally dismissed or despised it. That makes us sad, which is why we gave it this award.


Most Overrated Film
Overheard 2
This sequel-in-name-only is entertaining and a popular hit but the copious and clumy exposition is a real anchor. Strangely, it received a Best Picture nomination and was talked up as being among the year's absolute very best. Like better than Wu Xia.


Most Bizarre Film
Virtual Recall
Based on a sci-fi mystery novel, Virtual Recall features dimension-hopping, Freudian fantasies, radical psychotherapy, post-traumatic stress disorders, kickboxing, cheesy synth pop, people travelling in bubbles and Cherie Ying asking someone, "Do you want to try this spicy little pepper?" Really, what the hell is this movie?


Most Disappointing Film
The Lost Bladesman
More inert than exciting, The Lost Bladesman should have been a superb genre effort or a stirring Three Kingdoms drama. We expected that it would be one, either or both, but instead it was none of the above. The biggest insult: Donnie Yen's Guan Yu trims his beard.


Funniest Performer
Jaycee Chan (East Meets West)
East Meets West featured plenty of actors cutting up, but Jaycee Chan led the pack with his droll delivery and crack comic timing. Chan started his film career as dead weight in Twins Effect II, but he's developed nicely into a true talent. Jackie, give the kid a break.


Most Annoying
Siu Fei (Summer Love Love)
A previous winner in this category, Siu Fei cemented his first-ballot induction in the Annoying Actors Hall of Fame with his grating antics in Summer Love Love. The fact that he gained weight for the role only demonstrates his unswerving dedication to the craft of being annoying. All annoying actors - nay, all annoying people - can learn something from Siu Fei.


Most Awesome
Jiang Wen (Let The Bullets Fly)
As renowned bandit Pocky Zhang, Jiang Wen owns the screen, the Chinese countryside and probably your ass. Seriously, Jiang Wen is so kickass awesome in Let the Bullets Fly that even when he loses the girl, his gang and his best friend, it still seems like he wins. Jiang Wen also wrote, produced and directed, and he probably hand-delivered every print by bicycle too.


Most Underrated Performer
Alex Fong Lik-Sun (Love is the Only Answer)
The former Olympic swimmer wins this award thanks to his self-effacing turn as a hideously lousy yet also lovable douchebag in Patrick Kong's better-than-expected Love is the Only Answer. Stephy, you've got a keeper in this one.


The Liu Kai-Chi Overacting Award
Tony Ho Wah-Chiu (3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy)
Besides its marketing success and box-office glory, 3D Sex and Zen is a hard film to reward. However, we'll make an exception for Tony Ho Wah-Chiu, who overacted gloriously as the super-horny, super-evil villain of the piece. Tony, you're a professional.


Taking Up Space
Lucas Tse (Treasure Hunt)
He doesn't take up much space, but Lucas Tse earned this dubious award, given to an actor who demonstrates a lack of thespian skills or charisma in a particular role. Lucas is just a kid, but even kid actors should attempt to follow the script, or at the absolute least try to stay still. We think his parents are famous.


Career Suicide
Cecilia Cheung Pak-Chi (The Legendary Amazons, Treasure Hunt, All's Well End's Well 2011)
After a multi-year hiatus, award-winning actress Cecilia Cheung returned to Hong Kong Cinema, and she brought with her a scorched earth mixture of tabloid gossip, broken families, diva behavior, upset producers and - most distressing of all - mediocre to bad films. Cheung's return was welcome but now we're thinking that another hiatus may not be a bad idea.


The "Best Man Ever" Award
Daniel Wu (Don't Go Breaking My Heart)
No potential boyfriend was more perfect than Daniel Wu in Don't Go Breaking My Heart. Wu was so righteous, decent, patient, loyal and all-around awesome in the film that it beggared belief - and yet Wu made the character convincing. Louis Koo: sorry, but you lose.


The Hand of China Award
A Beautiful Life
China has gotten so good at manipulating Hong Kong films that now they get Hong Kong filmmakers to do it for them. Andrew Lau's A Beautiful Life has your typical moments of China fluffing, but it's Lau's eager willingness to verbally and narratively throw Hong Kong under the bus that makes this a landmark in kowtowing to the north. At least the acting is good.


The Team Player Award
William Chan Wai-Ting (Hi, Fidelity)
He plays a dual role, fulfills the fantasies of loopy older women, plus he turns wickedly evil, acts mentally-challenged and allows himself to be subdued by Chapman To of all people. And he never got to bust a move. Nobody gave more to his co-stars this year than William Chan.


Best Frog
Brother Frog (Don't Go Breaking My Heart)
Everybody loves frogs, so when one gets oodles of screentime it's cause for celebration, or at least a faux film award that has no physical counterpart. As Terence Yin's then Gao Yuanyuan's and finally Daniel Wu's amphibian pet, Brother Frog showed serene sliminess and a willingness to lay his life - or at least the stunt frog's life - on the line. His smear still gives us goosebumps.


Best Use of Slow Motion
Beach Spike
Slow motion is great when you want to show badass mofos striding towards a climactic shootout, but isn't it better when you want to show bikini-clad young girls getting smacked in the face with volleyballs? Apparently the makers of Beach Spike thought so, because they made it happen over and over. And over. And then again. And a few more times. And oh, once more. Uh...thanks?


Best Subtitle (click image to enlarge)
"Why do you piss at my ass?" (said by Tian Liang in I Love Wing Chun)
Since this subtitle comes only moments after a failed peeping in a men's restroom, we suppose it somehow makes sense. However, the one doing the peeping wasn't urinating, and anyway, this subtitle is absolutely hilarious. If someone created this subtitle intentionally then they deserve a cash reward. And remedial schooling.


Best Bro Hug
Donnie Yen and Takeshi Kaneshiro (Wu Xia)
Men hug all the time in movies, especially in a cinema so renowned for its bromances as Hong Kong's. However, how many hugs are so powerful and so manly that they exude a rising bass hum that threatens to destroy your local cinema's speakers? We have no answer for that, but Wu Xia has such a hug and fittingly, it is given by Donnie Yen. Takeshi Kaneshiro may never hug again.


The TRUCK!!! Award
Virtual Recall
Vehicular accidents are a beloved staple of cinema, and this year Virtual Recall is recognized for the hilarious manner in which Sammul Chan Kin-Fun plays in traffic. Don't worry, he comes back in Tang Yi-Fei's dream, where he's living with a slutty Cherie Ying, but that's only after the dream where Tang Yi-Fei swallows a very large snake. Sammul probably wishes he'd stayed dead.


The Dynasty Award
The 33D Invader
If there is a 2011 Hong Kong film that should be seen in a cavernous cinema with a crowd of like-minded indivudals who've shown up to see a silly piece of crap, that film is The 33D Invader. This is not a good film, but it does what it intends to do gleefully and with more honesty than Hong Kong audiences deserve. And yes, softporn is always better with an audience.


The Andy Lau Product Placement Award
I Love Wing Chun, for the sum totality of its product whoring
A front-runner for worst film of the year, I Love Wing Chun is also product placement nirvana. Besides featuring wall-to-wall Pensonic Electronics, the film has Tian Liang carry packages of Hup Seng Deluxe biscuits while eating Hup Seng Deluxe biscuits and talking about how much he loves Hup Seng Deluxe biscuits. We hope never to see Hup Seng Deluxe biscuits again.


The Official LoveHKFilm Apology
A Simple Life
Ann Hui's acclaimed drama gets this year's Official Apology because it failed to win any awards from our jury. The reason: despite getting international fest play in 2011, A Simple Life was not screened publicly in Hong Kong until March 2012, making it totally ineligible for the 17th LoveHKFilm Awards. Fear not, it won nearly every other award imaginable and is already the frontrunner to sweep the 18th LoveHKFilm Awards. Hopefully it'll be on video by then.


The Next 10 Best Films of 2011
Wu Xia
Starry Starry Night
Life Without Principle
Flying Swords of Dragon Gate
Don't Go Breaking My Heart
East Meets West
The 33D Invader
I Love Hong Kong
The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake


The Next 10 Worst Films of 2011
Shadowguard: The Blood Bond Saga
Chase Our Love
I Love Wing Chun
Magic to Win
Hi, Fidelity
3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy
Treasure Hunt
Legendary Amazons
Turning Point 2
Microsex Office

The LoveHKFilm Awards Jury

Ross Chen (a.k.a. Kozo)

Shelley Cheung
Minion of Kozo
Editing Monkey,

Paul Fox (a.k.a. Canton Kid)
College Lecturer, Media Studies, HKU Space
Creator and Host, East Screen/West Screen Podcast

Kevin Ma
Blogger/Tweeter extraordinaire, The Golden Rock

Sean Tierney
PhD and Hong Kong Film Scholar
Hong Kong Film Blogger,

Yuen Man (a.k.a Garden)
Chinese Editor,

Tim Youngs
Consultant, Udine Far East Film Festival

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