Golden Horse Awards: Spanish-Titled Social Drama Tops

by Alt Film Guide
No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti by Leon Dai

Screenwriter-director Leon Dai's Taiwanese black-and-white social-cum-family drama No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti (above), Taiwan's submission for the 2010 best foreign language film Academy Award, was the top winner at the 2009 Golden Horse Awards ceremony held Saturday evening in Taipei.

The real-life inspired tale of a poor single father who fights Taiwanese bureaucracy so as to retain custody of his daughter, No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti bagged trophies for best picture, best director, best original screenplay (Dai and best actor nominee Chen Wen-pin), and outstanding Taiwanese film of the year. (Curiously, the Taiwanese filmmaker of the year wasn't Dai, but veteran lighting designer Lee Lung-Yue.)

“I especially want to thank this piece of land, Taiwan,” Dai told reporters backstage. “It's this land that nurtured this movie. And we have been working hard to use the nutrition we received to develop this land.” No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti was reportedly made for less than US$200,000. In addition to his roles as director and co-screenwriter, Dai also produced and edited the film.

The biggest surprise of the evening, however, happened elsewhere.

Nick Cheung in The Beast Stalker
Huang Bo in The Cow

Nick Cheung (above, upper photo) and Huang Bo (above, lower photo) tied in the best actor race – a first in the Golden Horse Awards' 46-year history. Cheung plays a former boxer who resorts to kidnapping in The Beast Stalker, while Huang plays a peasant eager to protect his dairy cow from Japanese Imperial Army soldiers in Cow.

Li Bingbing in The Message

The best actress award was given to Li Bingbing (above) for the thriller The Message, about Japanese invaders in China who try to uncover a spy hidden among their local collaborators. Co-star Zhou Xun had also been in the running.

Li, who may one day be remembered as the Greer Garson of the Golden Horse Awards, could get neither the tears nor the words to stop flowing. “I didn't expect to be recognized and I didn't think about what I would say,” she remarked, and proceeded to ramble on. Twice she was cued to get off the stage, but there she remained. (Greer Garson allegedly gave the longest Oscar speech ever, back at the 1943 awards ceremony.)

Veteran Hong Kong star Wai Ying-hung was chosen best supporting actress for her performance as a single mother whose son faces rape charges in At the End of Daybreak, while Wang Xueqi was the best supporting actor for his portrayal of an old opera performer in Chen Kaige's Forever Enthralled.

KJ: Music and Life by Cheung King-wai

Cheung King-wai's documentary about 17-year-old Hong Kong musical prodigy Ka-jeng, KJ: Music and Life (above) won three awards: best documentary, best editing and best sound effects.

“The Golden Horse Awards jurors are sending us a message,” Cheung remarked, “that documentaries can compete with feature films from a technical standpoint.”

Less lucky was Clara Law's romantic drama Like a Dream, which failed to win any of its nine nominations.

Photos: Huayi Brothers (The Message); Golden Horse Awards (all other images).

2009 Golden Horse Awards

2009 Golden Horse nominations: Oct. 07, 2009

2009 Golden Horse winners: Nov. 28, 2009 

Best Film
* No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti
Luminoso Film Co., Ltd., Partyzoo Film Co., Ltd.
United Star
Crazy Racer
Beijing Film Studio, Warner China Film HG Corporation, Beijing Guoli Changsheng Movies & TV Productions Co., Ltd
Homegreen Films
Like a Dream
Beijing PolyBona Film Distribution Co., Ltd., Arc Light Film Company Limited, Bona Entertainment Company Limited, Lunar Films Company Limited

The Outstanding Taiwanese Film of the Year
Let The Wind Carry Me The Fleeting Moments of Mark Lee
Chiang Hsiu Chiung. Kwan Pun Leung. Tony Luo
* No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti
Luminoso Film Co., Ltd., Partyzoo Film Co., Ltd.
Yang Yang
Khan Entertainment Co., LTD

Best Documentary
* KJ: music and life
CNEX Foundation Limited
Baseball Boys
Public Television Service Foundation
Let The Wind Carry Me The Fleeting Moments of Mark Lee
Chiang Hsiu Chiung, Kwan Pun Leung, Tony Luo

Best Director
* Leon Dai, No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti
Guan Hu, Cow
Tsai Ming Liang, Face
Clara Law, Like a Dream

Best Leading Actor (tie)
Chen Wen-Pin, No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti
* Nick Cheung, The Beast Stalker
* Huang Bo, Cow
Daniel Wu, Like a Dream

Best Leading Actress
Sandrine Pinna, Yang Yang
Yolanda Yuan, Like a Dream
Zhou Xun, The Message
* Li Bingbing, The Message

Best Supporting Actor
Cai Zhen Nan, Ending Cut
Huang Chien-Wei, Yang Yang
Zhang Han Yu, The Equation of Love and Death
* Wang Xue Qi, Forever Enthralled

Best Supporting Actress
Liou Yiin Shang, Sleeping With Her
Lu Yi-Ching, A Place of Ones Own
* Wai Ying Hung, At the End of Daybreak
Zhang Ziyi, Forever Enthralled

Best New Performer
Chen Wen-Pin, No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti
Her Sy-Huoy, Yang Yang
* Yu Shao Qun, Forever Enthralled
Michelle Chen, Hear Me

Best Original Screenplay
* Leon Dai, Chen Wen-Pin, No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti
Cui Siwei, Xing Aina, Wang Hongwei, Wang Yao, Zhou Zhiyong, Yue Xiaojun, Zhang Cheng, Crazy Racer
Cheng Wen-Tang, Cheng Jin Fen, Chang I-Feng, Tears
Eddie Fong, Clara Law, Like a Dream

Best Screenplay Adaption
* Guan Hu, Cow
Chen Kuo-Fu , Zhang Jialu, The Message
Gu Xiaoni, Death Dowry

Best Cinematography
Song Xiao Fei, Cow
Sion Michel, Like a Dream
Zhao Xiao Shi, Wheat
* Cao Yu, City of Life and Death

Best Film Editing
* Cheung King Wai, KJ: music and life
Leon Dai, No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti
Kong Jinlei, Cow
Zhang Yifan, Du Yuan, Tang Hua, Crazy Racer

Best Original Film Score
Lim Giong, Yang Yang
* Dou Wei, Bi Xiao Di, The Equation of Love and Death
Paul Grabowsky, Like a Dream
Liu Xing, Wheat

Best Original Film Song
"Sayonala," from Tears
Lyric: Yang Ta-Cheng, ENNO; Composer: ENNO; Performer: ENNO
"The Flow of Clouds," from Young Spirit of a Taiwanese Opera Singer
Lyric: Peng Zhang-zhan; Composer: Peng Zhang-zhan; Performer: Christine Shu
* "For My Heart," from Death Dowry
Lyric: Zeng Yan; Composer: Zeng Yan; Performer: Tao Hong, Tan Weiwei

Best Art Direction
HuaTa-Hua, No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti
* Lee Tian Jue, Patrick Dechesne, Alain-Pascal Housiaux, Face
Yee Chung Man, Like a Dream
Shi Haiying, Yang Haoyu, The Message

Best Makeup & Costume Design
Emi Wada, The Warrior and the Wolf
Chen Tong Xun, Forever Enthralled
* Christian Lacroix, Wang Chia Hui, Anne Dunsford, Face
Ye Jingtian, The Message

Best Visual Effects
Jiang Weibin, Lei Zaixing, Da Ming Palace
* Wang Jianxiong, Jimmy Chen, Li Liping, Crazy Racer
Don Ma, City of Life and Death
Hu Xuan, Xiao Yang, The Message

Best Action Choreography
Tung Wai, The Beast Stalker
Chen Guan Long, Qin Hai Qiang, Cow
Philippe Decouflé, Face
* Sammo Hung, Ip Man

Best Sound Effects
* Cheung King Wai, KJ: music and life
Tu Duu-Chih, Yang Yang
Tu Duu-Chih, Like a Dream
Wang Changrui, Wheat

Best Short Film
* Sleeping With Her, Chih Yi Wen
Invisible Loneliness, Lin Jung Hsien
Ending Cut, Wus Production Co.

* Yang Yang

The Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year
* Lee Lung-Yue
Jack Kao
Leon Dai

Lifetime Achievement Award
Ming Ji

Special Contribution Award
George Wang

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