Hong Kong Film Awards 2014: ‘The Grandmaster,’ ‘Unbeatable’ Lead The Pack

Director Wong Kar Wai’s martial arts flick The Grandmaster received over a dozen nominations at the 33rd Hong Kong Film Awards.

The movie, which is the latest cinematic endeavor to tell the story of the man who trained Bruce Lee, scored a total of 14 nods on Wednesday (February 5). However, this isn’t the only flick to walk away with a ton of nominations this year.

Dante Lam’s mixed martial arts flick Unbeatable scored a total of 11 nominations at this year’s Hong Kong Film Festival. First-time director Juno Mak’s stylish horror outing Rigor Mortis, a film that serves as a throwback to the Chinese vampire genre, earned nine nods.

The Grandmaster finds itself in a race for Best Picture against such noteworthy Hong Kong flicks as Johnnie To’s Drug War, Dante Lam’s Unbeatable, Derek Kwok’s As the Light Goes Out, and Benny Chan’s The White Storm.

Tony Leung, who plays Ip Man in The Grandmaster, is up against celebrated actor Anthony Wong for the Best Actor trophy. Wong also played Bruce Lee’s mentor in director Herman Yau’s Ip Man: The Final Fight. Acclaimed actor Donnie Yen (Hero, Seven Swords) also portrayed the martial arts master in Ip Man and Ip Man 2.

“Finally I get a nomination. If I didn’t, I would have stopped acting in movies. Of course I am not confident of winning the award. I haven’t even been nominated for a while. My competitors are strong,” Anthony Wong told the South China Morning Post.

Leung and Wong will also compete against Louis Koo (The White Storm), Sean Lau (The White Storm), and Nick Cheung (Unbeatable) for the Best Actor award. In this writer’s opinion, there’s not a single weak performance in the bunch.

Zhang Ziyi (The Grandmaster), Tang Wei (Finding Mr. Right), Sammi Cheng Sau-man (Blind Detective), Nina Paw Hee-ching (Rigor Mortis), and Cherry Ngan Cheuk-ling (The Way We Dance) will battle for Best Actress at the Hong Kong Film Awards.

Chinese cinema fans who are curious about this year’s contenders can catch a number of the aforementioned titles on such streaming services as Netflix. The Grandmaster is presently available on VOD, though fans can’t readily acquire the flick on DVD or Blu-ray in the US. Rigor Mortis and Unbeatable have yet to receive any official Stateside releases.

What do you think about the movies that received nominations at the 33rd Hong Kong Film Awards? Which movie do you hope takes home the trophy for Best Picture?