Wong Kar Wai’s ‘The Grandmaster’ Cleans Up at Hong Kong Film Awards

Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster blitzed the 33rd Hong Kong Film Awards Sunday, winning a dozen prizes, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress for Ziyi Zhang.

[Related - FILM COMMENT contributor Andrew Chan translated the first trailer for Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster]

The martial-arts drama, which opened the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival and screened as part of the Film Society's "For Your Consideration: Foreign Oscar Hopefuls" series last December, also won Best Screenplay, shared by Wong Kar Wai, Zou Jingzhi, and Xu Haofeng, at the weekend awards ceremony. Jin Zhang also took Best Supporting Actor, though the film's lead, Tony Leung, lost the Best Actor prize to Nick Cheung Ka Fai for his role in Unbeatable. The Grandmaster also won prizes for Best Cinematography, Film Editing, Art Direction, Choreography, Costume and Make Up, Original Score, and Sound Design.

"I hope that this film will bring more [to the screen] than kung fu. It is also about the 'grand master' and the Chinese," Wong said at the Berlin International Film Festival last year as audiences caught the first glimpse of the epic feature. "Someone can be a good fighter, but not a grand master. A grand master has the skill and the ability to pass along his skill to future generations. I believe The Grandmaster is more than a kung-fu film."

In the film, based on a true story, Leung plays Ip Man, the legendary teacher of Bruce Lee and a master of the Wing Chun school of kung fu. Ip Man is born to a well-off family in Foshan in the south of China. Never in need of money throughout his youth, he spends his time pursuing his passion for kung fu. Typifying his status, his wife Zhang Yongcheng (Sony Hye Kyo) is a descendant of Manchu nobility. He is often seen in the company of Foshan's kung-fu masters at the Gold Pavilion, an elegant brothel that serves as a meeting place for the elite martial artists.

[Visit the Hong Hong Film Awards site for a full list of winners here. ]

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