Three films split honours at Taiwan's Golden Horse awards

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 November, 2013, 6:56am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 November, 2013, 8:02am


Films from Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan shared the honours last night at Taiwan's 50th Golden Horse movie awards, the Chinese-language equivalent of the Oscars.

Singaporean social drama Ilo Ilo won for best film, best new director for Anthony Chen and best original screenplay.

Ilo Ilo tells of the relationship between a Filipina maid and the family she serves in Singapore during the Asian recession of 1997. The maid's friendship with the family's young son ignites the jealously of his mother, even as she becomes an integral part of the family.

Hong Kong's highly touted The Grandmaster won for best actress - China's Zhang Ziyi - and in four minor categories - best cinematography, best visual effects, best art director and best make-up/costume design - but Wong Kar-wai failed to win the best director prize.

Loosely based on the life of martial arts legend Ip Man, mentor of kung fu star Bruce Lee, The Grandmaster employs many of Wong's well-known trademarks, including frequent use of slow motion. Critics say it raises the martial arts genre to a new level, much in the way that Taiwan's Oscar-winning director Ang Lee did in 2000 with his Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Malaysian-born, Singapore-based Yeo Yann Yann took the best supporting actress statuette for playing a mother juggling work and family in Ilo Ilo.

"This is a fantastic journey for me to attend the Golden Horse ceremony in Taiwan. I want to thank the director and my family in Malaysia. ... I hope my fantastic journey will continue," said Yeo.

The surprise of the evening may have been Taiwan's Stray Dogs, which uses a collage of slow shots to illuminate the desperate lives of an alcoholic man and his two children in modern-day Taipei. Malaysian-born Tsai Ming-liang won for best director, while Lee Kang-sheng took best actor for his work in the film.

Veteran Chinese performer Li Xuejian was awarded best supporting actor for his role as a Kuomintang party official in the historical drama Back to 1942.

Chinese director Jia Zhangke's sensitive social drama A Touch of Sin, which has reportedly been banned on the mainland, collected the best film editing and best original film score awards, while the best action choreography title went to action hero Jackie Chan for CZ12.

Associated Press, Agence France-Presse