TAICHUNG, Taiwan — Chinese docudrama “Kekexili: Mountain Patrol” rode off with the best picture trophy at Saturday’s 41st Golden Horse Awards, which honors Chinese-lingo pics. Win marks the first time a Chinese production has lassoed the top prize.
In past years, tensions between China and Taiwan led Chinese politicos to bar Chinese pics from entering the awards. Taiwan, host of the annual event, hasn’t welcomed entries from across the strait. “Kekexili,” which received coin from Columbia Pictures’ Asian arm, slipped through the cracks.
Though it won trophies for picture and cinematography, “Kekexili” wasn’t the night’s biggest winner. The 12-member jury, headed by Hong Kong helmer Ann Hui, recognized 15 films in 23 categories.
“New Police Story,” Jackie Chan’s return to Asian filmmaking, picked up the most trophies, including Daniel Wu’s supporting actor honors for his role as pic’s villain and nods in visual effects and action choreography. Pic also took the audience choice award.
Home favorite “Splendid Float” performed far better than expected, nabbing honors for makeup and costume design, original song and Taiwanese film. Drama focuses on a group of transvestite monks. “Splendid Float’s” male cast members arrived at the ceremony in elaborate evening gowns, adding a touch of the outrageous to a night notable for numerous celebrity no-shows due to a typhoon that hit the island the previous night. Presenters who were able to make it in did double duty and handed out prizes in two categories.
The night’s most anticipated moment came when Andy Lau picked up the actor trophy.
Last year, many thought Lau would win his first Golden Horse for his role as a bad cop in “Infernal Affairs.” He lost to co-star Tony Leung. This year, Lau endured good-natured teasing by presenters before walking up to the podium near the end of the night to accept his trophy — for reprising the same role in “Infernal Affairs III.”
In the actress category, arthouse darling Yang Kuei-mei won her first Golden Horse for her touching perf as a lonely divorcee in “The Moon Also Rises.” Lin Cheng-sheng picked up adapted screenplay for his work on pic.
Bai Ling nabbed supporting actress for Fruit Chan’s thriller “Three … Extremes: Dumplings.”
Johnnie To took the director nod for his work on “Breaking News,” an actioner examining the relationship between the media and the law. Pic also won for film editing.
Hong Kong helmer Wong Kar Wai’s romantic opus “2046” led nominees with eight but went home only with trophies for original film score and art direction.
Director: Johnnie To, “Breaking News”
Actor: Andy Lau, “Infernal Affairs III”
Actress: Yang Kuei-mei, “The Moon Also Rises”
Supporting actor: Daniel Wu, “New Police Story”
Supporting actress: Bai Ling, “Three…Extremes”: “Dumplings”
Taiwanese film: “Splendid Float”
Audience award: “New Police Story”
New performer: Tony Yang, “Formula 17” and Hong Hao-xuan, “Bear Hug”
Original screenplay: Yau Nai Hoi, Yip Tin Shang and Au Kin Yee, “Throw Down”
Adapted screenplay: Lin Cheng-sheng, “The Moon Also Rises”
Cinematography: Cao Yu, “Kekexili”
Visual effects: Victor Wong and Brian Ho, “New Police Story”
Art direction: William Chang, “2046”
Makeup and costume design: Jean Chen and Lai Wei-joung, “Splendid Float”
Action choreography: Lee Chung Chi, “New Police Story”
Original score: Shigeru Umebayashi and Peer Raben, “2046”
Original song: “Splendid Float”
Editing: David Richardson, “Breaking News”
Sound effects: Cao Yuan-fong, “The Passage”
Documentary: “Chronicle of Sea”
Short film: “The Magical Wash Machine”
Animated film: “Mcdull”