Asian Film Awards 2018 nominations: Louis Koo gets best actor nod, but Hong Kong absent from best picture race, again

Hong Kong missed out on a best picture nod for the fourth year running, while Chen Kaige’s Legend of the Demon Cat garnered six nominations including best director. Read on for our complete list of nominations

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 January, 2018, 5:42pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 January, 2018, 5:46pm

Prolific Hong Kong film star Louis Koo Tin-lok earned a rare best-actor nomination for his role as an anguished father out for violent revenge in Paradox at the 12th Asian Film Awards, the organisers announced on Thursday.

But the popular actor’s admittedly deserved nod may not be enough to make up for the disappointment of his home audiences as Hong Kong cinema again comes up short for the awards’ top prize: Hong Kong films have failed to snatch a single best picture nod at the Asian Film Awards – which were first held in this city – for the fourth year in a row.

I Am Not Madame Bovary wins best picture at the 2017 Asian Film Awards; The Handmaiden takes home four prizes

The five nominees for best picture are Chinese writer-director Vivian Qu’s modern-day crime noir Angels Wear White; Indian comedy Newton; Korean art-house gem The Day After, one of three films Hong Sang-soo directed in 2017; Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda’s legal thriller The Third Murder ; and Youth, Feng Xiaogang’s sprawling drama about a Chinese military arts troupe who lived through the Cultural Revolution and the Sino-Vietnamese war.

Angels Wear White, The Third Murder and Youth have five nominations apiece; as does Sylvia Chang’s multigenerational relationship drama Love Education . But the surprise front-runner of the awards turns out to be Chen Kaige’s lavish supernatural murder mystery Legend of the Demon Cat , which received nods in six categories, including best director.

The nomination list surprises as much for its appreciation for popular actors (including Louis Koo) as it does for its curious snubs. Eddie Peng is recognised for his supporting role in Our Time Will Come , but his co-stars, Zhou Xun and Deanie Ip, are both notable omissions. Song Kang-ho failed to receive a best actor nod for A Taxi Driver after he essentially swept the domestic prizes in South Korea, while the Golden Horse best picture The Bold, the Corrupt, and the Beautiful is shunned in every category.

Ranking every Hong Kong film released in 2017, from worst to best

The winners of the 2018 Asian Film Awards – which has also introduced the best new director and best action film categories – will be announced at a ceremony on March 17 at the Venetian Macao. The veteran action director Ching Siu-tung will serve as jury president of this year’s programme, which incorporates a special focus on martial arts filmmaking in Asia.

The full list of nominations are as follows: (click on film titles and names to read SCMP.com reviews and interviews)

Best film

Angels Wear White (China, France)

Newton (India)

The Day After (South Korea)

The Third Murder (Japan)

Youth (China)

Best director

Chen Kaige (Legend of the Demon Cat)

Sylvia Chang (Love Education)

Ann Hui (Our Time Will Come)

Hong Sang-soo (The Day After)

Yuya Ishii (The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue)

Feng Xiaogang (Youth)

Best new director

Vivian Qu (Angels Wear White)

Anucha Boonyawatana (Malila: The Farewell Flower)

Huang Hsin-yao (The Great Buddha +)

Dong Yue (The Looming Storm)

Derek Hui (This Is Not What I Expected)

Yoshiyuki Kishi (Wilderness)

Best actor

Kim Yun-seok (1987: When the Day Comes)

Sukollawat Kanarot (Malila: The Farewell Flower)

Rajkummar Rao (Newton)

Louis Koo (Paradox)

Duan Yihong (The Looming Storm)

Best actress

Yu Aoi (Birds Without Names)

Sylvia Chang (Love Education)

Marsha Timothy (Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts)

Kim Min-hee (The Day After)

Zhou Dongyu (This Is Not What I Expected)

Best supporting actor

Yoo Hae-jin (A Taxi Driver)

Geng Le (Angels Wear White)

Tian Zhuangzhuang (Love Education)

Eddie Peng (Our Time Will Come)

Yang Ik-joon (Wilderness)

Best supporting actress

Choi Hee-seo (Anarchist from Colony)

Hana Sugisaki (Blade of the Immortal)

Kitty Zhang (Legend of the Demon Cat)

Estelle Wu (Love Education)

Suzu Hirose (The Third Murder)

Best newcomer

Zhou Meijun (Angels Wear White)

Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying (Bad Genius)

Lim Yoon-a (Confidential Assignment)

Ling Man-lung (Tomorrow Is Another Day)

Akari Kinoshita (Wilderness)

Zhong Chuxi (Youth)

Best action film

Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds

Blade of the Immortal

Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield

Paradox

The Thousand Faces of Dunjia

Best screenplay

Anarchist from Colony

Bad Genius

Love Education

Newton

Youth

Best editing

mon mon mon Monsters

Our Time Will Come

The King

The Third Murder

Youth

Best cinematography

Legend of the Demon Cat

Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts

The Fortress

The Great Buddha +

The Third Murder

Best original music

A Taxi Driver

Angels Wear White

Our Time Will Come

The Great Buddha +

Wilderness

Best costume design

Anarchist from Colony

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

Blade of the Immortal

Legend of the Demon Cat

The Thousand Faces of Dunjia

Best production design

Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds

Legend of the Demon Cat

Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts

The Third Murder

This Is Not What I Expected

Best visual effects

Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

Gintama

Legend of the Demon Cat

mon mon mon Monsters

The Thousand Faces of Dunjia

Best sound

Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield

Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts

mon mon mon Monsters

The Fortress

The Great Buddha +

Want more articles like this? Follow SCMP Film on Facebook