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Dark horse wins gold at 49th Golden Horse Awards

By Wei Xi (Global Times)

08:30, November 26, 2012

Lau Ching Wan and Gwei Lun-mei (Photo/

As the 49th Golden Horse Awards lowered its curtain Saturday night, the final results of this year surprised most Chinese movie fans as some of the biggest awards went to films and stars that were not considered major contenders.

Mainland director Lou Ye's Mystery, together with Taiwan film Girlfriend Boyfriend, directed by Yang Ya Che, were the most promising films with seven nominations each. However, each only took home two awards, and most of those weren't the big ones producers had hoped for.

There was no single film to dominate the awards, nor was there any implication of preference for works from a certain region. As many people noted, the various works from the three areas - the mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong - seemed to have divided up the awards.

If one had to choose a big winner, it would be Beijing Blues, a mainland film that got little attention at cinemas but collected three awards in Taiwan: Best Feature Film, Best Film Editing and Best Cinematography.

Why or why not

"I thought either Mystery or Life without Principle would win for Best Feature Film," Yu Xin, a movie critic in Beijing told the Global Times in a phone interview yesterday.

He explained that compared with the other two, the story of Beijing Blues is more constrained to a small region, while the themes of the other films can relate to a much wider audience.

However, Wang Siwei, a movie critic from Chongqing, does not believe this year's Best Feature Film winner should be such a surprise.

"It's not saying that the other works are not as good, but Beijing Blues is the one that was able to make a breakthrough," Wang said, adding that both Mystery and Life without Principle maintained the respected reputations of their directors, and their quality met with audience expectation. "If several works are of similar quality, the one that is able to break the old boundary stands out," he said.

He also noted that although Mystery and Beijing Blues are both about the dark side of people and society, Beijing Blues provides an escape for the audience, giving a glimmer of hope in the end. Mystery, by contrast, leaves the audience feeling depressed.

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