Bong Joon-ho 'Mother' Tops Asian Film Awards

Kim Hye-ja in Mother
Kim Hye-ja in Mother

Bong Joon-ho's unusual drama-thriller Mother received top honors at the 2010 Asian Film Awards. Hosted by model and veejay Lisa S., the event took place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center on Monday evening.

Mother, the tale of a devoted mother who'll stop at nothing to prove her mentally handicapped son is innocent of a heinous crime, was chosen as the Best Picture of 2009. In the title role, South Korean superstar Kim Hye-ja was voted Best Actress, while Bong and Park Eun-kyo took home the award for Best Screenplay.

The Best Director was Lu Chuan for the historical Chinese drama City of Life and Death, about the Nanjing Massacre of 1937 during which hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians were killed by invading Japanese soldiers. City of Life and Death also earned Cao Yu the Best Cinematographer Award.

Wang Xueqi was voted Best Actor for his performance as an early 20th-century businessman who provides financial aid for Sun Yat-sen's revolutionary movement: which led to the formation of modern China: in Teddy Chan's Hong Kong-made actioner Bodyguards and Assassins.

Nicholas Tse won as Best Supporting Actor for his self-sacrificing rickshaw puller in the same movie. Out of its six nominations, those were the only two in which Bodyguards and Assassins came out on top.

The Best Newcomer was Ng Meng-hui for her wealthy teen having an illicit online relationship with a 23-year-old (Tien You Chui) in the psychological-social drama At the End of Daybreak. Ho Yuhang's South Korean-Malaysian-Hong Kong co-production also earned Wai Ying-hung (a.k.a. Kara Hui), playing the young man's working-class single mother, the Best Supporting Actress trophy.

Visage by Tsai Ming-liang

The Asian Film Awards' first Best Costume Designer prize was presented by Donatella Versace to Christian Lacroix, Anne Dunsford and Wang Chia-Hui for Tsai Ming-liang's French-Taiwanese Face (above). Another Face victory: the movie was much praised for its look (though not for its storyline): was in the Best Production Designer category: the winners were Alain-Pascal Housiaux, Patrick Dechesne and Lee Tian-Jue.

The award for Outstanding Contribution to Asian Cinema went to Chinese veteran Zhang Yimou, among whose credits are Raise the Red Lantern, To Live, and Hero, while Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan was given the Lifetime Achievement Award.

“In a world that is fast disintegrating,” Bachchan declared, “I believe cinema is one medium that brings all of us together in love, in friendship, and in cooperation.”

John Woo received a special award for being the top-grossing filmmaker at the 2009 box office. Woo's Red Cliff is reportedly the highest-grossing Chinese production ever.

2010 Asian Film Awards Winners

Best Film: Mother (South Korea)

Best Dir.: Lu Chuan, City of Life and Death (China)

Best Actor: Wang Xueqi, Bodyguards and Assassins (Hong Kong/China)

Best Actress: Kim Hye-ja, Mother (South Korea)

Best Supporting Actor: Nicholas Tse, Bodyguards and Assassins (Hong Kong/China)

Best Supporting Actress: Wai Ying-hung, At the End of Daybreak (Malaysia/Hong Kong/South Korea)

Best Newcomer: Ng Meng Hui, At the End of Daybreak (Malaysia/Hong Kong/South Korea)

Best Screenwriter: Parl Eun-kyo, Bong Joon-ho, Mother (South Korea)

Best Cinematographer: Cao Yu, City of Life and Death (China)

Best Production Designer: Alain-Pascal Housiaux, Patrick Dechesne, Lee Tian-Jue, Face (Taiwan)

Best Composer: Lo Ta-Yu, Vengeance (Hong Kong)

Best Editor: Lee Chatametikool, Karaoke (Malaysia)

Best Visual Effects: Yi Zeon-hyoung, Thirst (South Korea)

Best Costume Designer: Christian Lacroix, Anne Dunsford, Wang Chia-Hui, Face (Taiwan)

Special Awards

Outstanding Contribution to Asian Cinema: Zhang Yimou

Asian Film Award for Lifetime Achievement: Amitabh Bachchan

Asian Film Award for 2009's Top-Grossing Film Dir.: John Woo

Photos: Mother (Magnolia Pictures); Face / Visage (Homegreen Films)


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2 Comments to Bong Joon-ho 'Mother' Tops Asian Film Awards

  1. sajil

    I'm so glad Amitabh Bachchan won the Lifetime Achievement Award. He's a legend in India and anywhere in the world where they appreciate truly great acting. What a marvelous man and talent!

  2. David W.

    Congtratulations to Amitabh and Zhang Y.