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18th Annual LoveHKFilm Awards

This year, the Awards rears its ugly head way past the acceptable time for an awarding body honoring 2012. Our bad.

Films eligible for these awards include all Hong Kong and China films released in Hong Kong cinemas during the 2012 calendar year. Like the 2011 edition of our awards, we've expanded the eligible films to include pure China films and not strictly Hong Kong-China co-productions. We wrote about the rule change in this blog post from last year.

NOTE: One of the big winning films this year may seem super old, but that's because it received international festival awards way back in fall 2011. The film in question was released in Hong Kong in March, 2012.

A full list of jury members can be found below. Thanks to each of them for participating. Maybe we'll do this again next year.


Best Picture
- A Simple Life
- Back to 1942
- Caught in the Web
- Motorway
- Vulgaria


Best Director
- Ann Hui On-Wah (A Simple Life)
- Feng Xiaogang (Back to 1942)
- Chen Kaige (Caught in the Web)
- Soi Cheang Pou-Soi (Motorway)
- Pang Ho-Cheung (Vulgaria)


Best Actor
- Wang Xueqi (Caught in the Web)
- Lau Ching-Wan (The Bullet Vanishes)
- Wen Zhang (Love is Not Blind)
- Andy Lau Tak-Wah (A Simple Life)
- Chapman To Man-Chat (Vulgaria)


Best Actress
- Deannie Yip Tak-Han (A Simple Life)
- Gao Yuanyuan (Caught in the Web)
- Elanne Kong Yeuk-Lam (Love Lifting)
- Bai Baihe (Love is Not Blind)
- Sammi Cheng Sau-Man (Romancing in Thin Air)


Best Supporting Actor
- Ronald Cheng Chung-Kei (Vulgaria)
- Chapman To Man-Chat (Diva)
- Anthony Wong Chau-Sang (Motorway)
- Paul Chun Pui (A Simple Life)
- Patrick Tam Yiu-Man (Triad)


Best Supporting Actress
- Jiang Yiyan (The Bullet Vanishes)
- Bau Hei-Jing (Floating City)
- Mavis Fan Hsiao-Shuan (The Silent War)
- Dada Chen (Vulgaria)


Best Screenplay
- Pang Ho-Cheung, Luk Yee-Sum, Lam Chiu-Wing (Vulgaria)
- Law Chi-Leung, Yeung Sin-Ling (The Bullet Vanishes)
- Chen Kaige, Tang Da-Nian (Caught in the Web)
- Pang Ho-Cheung, Luk Yee-Sum (Love in the Buff)
- Roger Lee Yan-Lam, Susan Chan Suk-Yin (A Simple Life)


Best New Artist
- Rebecca Yip (Love Me Not)
- Jayden Yuan (Tai Chi 0)


Best Action
- Chin Kar-Lok, Wong Wai-Fai, Ng Hoi-Tong (Motorway)
- Jackie Chan, He Jun (Chinese Zodiac)
- Sammo Hung Kam-Bo (Tai Chi 0)
- Sammo Hung Kam-Bo (Tai Chi Hero)
- Dante Lam Chiu-Yin, Chin Kar-Lok, Wong Wai-Fai, Ng Hoi-Tong (The Viral Factor)

All the Rest

Worst Picture
Naked Human Nature
In a rarity for these awards, an independent feature was given the honor of Worst Picture of 2012. Normally we're kind to independent films but Naked Human Nature pretty much epitomizes what's wrong with Hong Kong indie film. That is, it's pretentious and so obsessed with meaning that it becomes insufferable. A positive: it's less than 80 minutes long.


Most Underrated Film
Love Lifting
Herman Yau is one of Hong Kong Cinema's most underappreciated directors, and Love Lifting is yet another of his underrated films. This low-key story about a female weightlifter may seem like a snoozefest but it's actually a vibrant portrait of normal people looking to do extraordinary things — even if that extraordinary thing is simply loving someone. Also, someone lifts weights.


Most Overrated Film
Cold War
Good actors, great production values and a high-tension concept made Cold War a decent film but its self-aggrandizing marketing and overbearing Hong Kong Film Awards sweep earn it undeniable overrated status. Winner of this award by unanimous vote, which actually doesn't happen very often.


Most Bizarre Film
Passion Island
The space this blurb is contained in is simply not large enough to express the sheer unfathomable insanity that is Passion Island. Sadly, the true bizarre weirdness of Passion Island may never be experienced again because the home video release cuts out the scene where Chang Chen pisses on a car with the force of a fire hose. Honestly, that's not even the strangest thing in the movie.


Most Disappointing Film
The Guillotines
Andrew Lau's The Guillotines earned Most Disappointing honors because it's called The Guillotines, is a remake of the classic Shaw Brothers actioner The Flying Guillotine, has characters who carry flying guillotine weapons — and yet after its opening sequence has really no flying guillotine action. What it does have: explosions and Jesus. This movie makes us disappointed and sad.


Funniest Performer
Ronald Cheng Chung-Kei (Vulgaria)
He won Best Supporting Actor for this role ten awards ago and now he's back for more. Ronald Cheng simply owned as the urbane and perverted gangster Dinosaur in Pang Ho-Cheung's satirical, raunchy and wildly funny Vulgaria. Cheng was also a strong contender for the Most Awesome award for this very same role, but he can't win everything.


Most Annoying (tie)
Annie Liu (Natural Born Lovers)
Sammy Sum Chun-Hin (Lan Kwai Fong 2)
A stalker and a douchebag are the proud recipients of this year's Most Annoying award. Annie Liu got on the nerves of Julian Cheung and most audiences in Natural Born Lovers, while Sammy Sum caused untold cases of hives as a dyed-blond meterosexual love machine in Lan Kwai Fong 2. We salute both for their achievement in insufferability.


Most Awesome
Wen Zhang (Love is Not Blind)
Awesome can come in unexpected packages. Case in point: Wen Zhang in the romantic comedy hit Love is Not Blind. As the might-be-gay co-worker of Bai Baihe, Wen Zhang was snarky and sensitive, understanding and unfailing, and just about the best pal a broken-hearted girl could ever want. He didn't kill anyone, but that doesn't diminish his awesomeness one bit.


Most Underrated Performer
Shu Qi (The Second Woman)
It's hard to call Shu Qi an underrated performer but she won this award because she was terrific in a dual role in The Second Woman, and also because nobody saw the film. If you see it, you'll understand why nobody saw it. You'll also understand why Shu Qi won this award.

Runner-up: Stephy Tang Lai-Yun (Love in Time)


The Liu Kai-Chi Overacting Award (tie)
Michael Wong Mun-Tak (Nightfall)
Kris Phillips (Painted Skin: The Resurrection)
There were many fine instances of overacting in 2012, but few stand out more than those perpetrated by Michael Wong and Kris Phillips. Wong's turn as an abusive composer reaches notable heights thanks to a red-faced crying jag and also Wong's impressive acting beard, which arguably turned in a better performance than half of Nightfall's cast. Chinese-American singer Kris Phillips was unrecognizable in Painted Skin: The Resurrection thanks to his extensive makeup, but it was his haughty demeanor and hilarious hand gestures which made him a match for Mike. Note: Liu Kai-Chi was considered for this honor thanks to his roles in The Viral Factor and The Bullet Vanishes, but he was disqualified because, well, the award is named after him.


Taking Up Space
Jayden Yuan (Tai Chi 0 and Tai Chi Hero)
Maybe it's the fault of the role he played, but Jayden Yuan was blandly one-dimensional in Stephen Fung's underwhelming martial arts comedies Tai Chi 0 and Tai Chi Hero. Ironically, Yuan was also nominated this year for Best New Artist, thereby proving that Hong Kong Cinema is seriously in need of new talent.


Career Suicide
Cecilia Cheung Pak-Chi (Speed Angels, Shadows of Love, The Lion Roars 2)
Lucas' mom becomes a two-time winner of our coveted Career Suicide award after a second consecutive year of underwhelming features. A Best Actress winner should be turning in better work than crappy commercial films and ill-conceived sequels. Cheung's lone bright spot in 2012: her performance in Hur Jun-Ho's Dangerous Liasons. Even Nicholas Tse was impressed. We think.


The "Best Man Ever" Award
Xu Zheng (Love in the Buff)
The spear-bald Xu Zheng may not be the finest physical specimen out there, but he was one giving, patient and understanding dude in Pang Ho-Cheung's Love in the Buff. The fact that he was also a rich electrical engineer made him an A+ catch, but Miriam Yeung oddly chose that slacker Shawn Yue instead. Hong Kong girls: Who understands them?


The "Best Woman Ever" Award
Mini Yang (Love in the Buff)
Mini Yang played a fetishized male fantasy in Pang Ho-Cheung's Love in the Buff, so this award isn't the most politically correct. Nevertheless, Yang's character was sweet, understanding, insanely hot and also interested in a slacker like Shawn Yue. Oddly, he chose that high-maintenance Miriam Yeung instead. Hong Kong guys: Who understands them?


The Hand of China Award
Love in the Buff
China is named in the award title but the real blame for Love in the Buff's China-fluffing goes to Pang Ho-Cheung, who portrayed his mainland characters (played by Xu Zheng and Mini Yang) as much better people than the self-absorbed Hong Kongers played by Shawn Yue and Miriam Yeung. In a triumph of filmmaking, Pang still made his Hong Kongers identifiable and sympathetic. But come on, Xu Zheng and Mini Yang were clearly better choices. Hong Kong people: Who understands them?


The Team Player Award
Kwon Sang-Woo (Shadows of Love and CZ12)
He's no Rain or Bae Yong-Joon, but Kwon Sang-Woo is one of Korea's top leading men and an actor who can tackle a variety of genres. Yet when he ventured into the China market, he played thankless support to almost-a-senior-citizen Jackie Chan and perennial bad movie queen Cecilia Cheung. Time to go back to Korea, Kwon, because China just doesn't appreciate you.


The Unwatchable Award
The Unbelievable 2: Channeling The Spirits
The LoveHKFilm Awards Jury prides itself on watching every Hong Kong or China film with a theatrical release in Hong Kong — and yet sometimes a film slips through because A) it doesn't make it to video, and B) it looks so unpleasant and unnecessary that nobody can summon the energy to see it in the cinema. This year, The Unbelievable 2: Channeling The Spirits is that film.


Best Transportation
Sphinx Ting's hang glider in Shadows of Love
One of 2012's true terrible films, Shadows of Love has few highlights save a one-minute freakout scene from Cecilia Cheung, plus Sphinx Ting's dance instructor, who makes grand entrances via a red hang glider that he uses as his major form of transportation. A greater mystery: Where does his hang glider come from? Seriously, is he launching it from a cargo plane or something?


The OTP (One True Pairing) Award
Osman Hung Chi-Kit and a human head in Love Actually...Sucks!
Nothing says love like cutting someone's head off, putting it in a motorcycle helmet bag and carrying it up a mountain. Naked. Infamous filmmaker Scud brought this wondrous tale to the screen in the epic Love Actually...Sucks! And if the image to the left isn't enough to sell you on this film, you should see the ending. Because wow, they went there.


Love in Time
Have you seen Love in Time? Because really, it does have the WORST ENDING EVAARRR. We could spoil it for you and tell you why, but you should watch it anyway to experience the anger and frustration for yourself. This film's ending is so terrible that we even use two A's and three R's to describe it.


The Dynasty Award (tie)
Naked Soldier and Passion Island
It's a tie! The Dynasty Award is given to movies with numerous "so bad that it's good" qualities, making them perfect to watch in Hong Kong's dingiest and most cavernous cinema house. Naked Soldier wins for its crappy acting and awesome supporting roles from Ian Powers, Jiang Luxia and Anthony Wong. Passion Island wins because, well, it's Passion Island. See them with friends or not at all.


The Andy Lau Product Placement Award
Romancing in Thin Air, for its Pepsi promotion
In Romancing in Thin Air, director Johnne To and star Louis Koo had their product placement cake and ate it too with a scene where superstar Koo (a real-life Pepsi pitchman), as superstar actor Michael Lau (who's a Pepsi pitchman in the film), shoots a Pepsi commercial that serves as a commercial to both the people in the film AND to the real-life audience watching the film. Holy meta moviemaking, Batman! Bonus: If you drink Pepsi while watching the movie, your brain melts.


The Next 10 Best Films of 2012
Caught in the Web
Back to 1942
McDull: The Pork of Music
Painted Skin: The Resurrection
Love in the Buff
Love Lifting
The Bullet Vanishes
Love is Not Blind


The Next 10 Worst Films of 2012
The Cases
The Guillotines
Love is...Pyjamas
Lan Kwai Fong 2
The Lion Roars 2
Shadows of Love
Due West: Our Sex Journey
A Dream Team
Wu Dang

The LoveHKFilm Awards Jury

Ross Chen (a.k.a. Kozo)

Shelley Cheung
Minion of Kozo
Editing Monkey,

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


Tim Youngs
Film Festival Consultant

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

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