Crime thriller Cold War triumphed at the Hong Kong Film Awards last night, winning in nine categories.
That made mystery drama The Bullet Vanishes the big loser, having received the same number of nominations as Cold War, 12, but winning none.
Cold War won most of the big awards: best film; best director (for first-time directors Longman Leung and Sunny Luk Kim-ching); and best actor (Tony Leung Ka-fai). Alex Tsui Ka-kit, who was sensationally sacked by the ICAC 20 years ago, won best newcomer at the age of 65 for his role as a graft-buster in the film.
Leung, who plays a deputy police chief and for whom this was his fourth best actor win at the awards, joked: "My two daughters asked me to thank them. I asked them why, and they said they watched Cold War four times and each time brought 20 of their friends."
Miriam Yeung Chin-wah had a much more emotional reaction to her first best actress prize, for her performance in romantic comedy Love in the Buff. Laughing and crying at the same time, the singer-turned-actress said over and over: "Why would this happen?"
She thanked director Pang Ho-cheung for having faith in her, and her ability to play the role of an older woman in a relationship with a younger man. The part echoed reality: she is married to Real Ting Chi-ko, who is five years her junior. Later, Yeung said backstage: "I am very happy … I didn't expect that I'd be so emotional."
Sex comedy Vulgaria took the best supporting actor and actress awards. A tearful Dada Chan, for whom this was her first awards nomination, said: "I don't have dream. Like most Hongkongers, I work hard in silence until I find direction and my own value."
Ronald Cheng Chung-kei, who won best supporting actor at Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards for his part in the film, choked back tears, too, as he received the award from Yeung, his ex-girlfriend.
"When I entered the entertainment industry, people had a bad impression of me because my dad is the boss of a record company … I always messed things up, but there were many people who helped me," he recalled.
"Then I stopped singing and started acting, which I knew little about … I will let my acting speak for itself."
Tsui, who was a civil servant for 28 years, referred jokingly to his firing by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, saying: "For years I've been acting well, but the British didn't like it. Now I get a new performer award when I'm 88 years old."
Best film: Cold War
Best director: Longman Leung, Sunny Luk Kim-ching (Cold War)
Best actor: Tony Leung Ka-fai (Cold War)
Best actress: Miriam Yeung Chin-wah (Love in the Buff)
Best supporting actor: Ronald Cheng Chung-kei (Vulgaria)
Best supporting actress: Dada Chan (Vulgaria)
Best new performer: Alex Tsui (Cold War)
Best screenplay: Longman Leung, Sunny Luk (Cold War)
Best art direction: Yee Chung-man, Eric Lam Che-kiu (The Last Tycoon)
Best visual effects: Cecil Cheng (Cold War)
Best cinematography: Anthony Pun Yiu-ming (The Silent War)
Best film editing: Kong Chi-leung, Wong Hoi (Cold War)
Lifetime achievement award: Ng See-yuen