Assassin tops Golden Horse nods

The film has 11 nominations, including Best Leading Actress for Shu Qi in the title role

Shu Qi in the titular role of The Assassin, which is in the running for Best Feature Film, Best Leading Actress and Best Director, among other awards.
Shu Qi in the titular role of The Assassin, which is in the running for Best Feature Film, Best Leading Actress and Best Director, among other awards.PHOTO: SHAW ORGANISATION

Taiwanese auteur Hou Hsiao- hsien's The Assassin is the one to beat when the Golden Horse Awards nominations were announced on Thursday in Taiwan.

Leading the field, the wuxia drama starring Shu Qi in the titular role has 11 nods, including for Best Feature Film, Best Director and Best Leading Actress.

Hou, known for his realist and minimalist style, will also be receiving the award for Outstanding Taiwanese Film-maker of the Year. In May, he won Best Director for The Assassin at the Cannes Film Festival.

The ceremony of the Chinese- speaking world's equivalent of the Oscars will be held on Nov 21.

Other titles for Best Feature Film include Thanatos, Drunk by Taiwan's Chang Tso-chi. The story of "an anguished punk, his gay brother and their gigolo friend", as described Variety, has 10 nods.

  • The nominees

  • Best Feature Film

    Thanatos, Drunk

    Port Of Call

    The Assassin


    Mountains May Depart

    Best Director

    Chang Tso-chi (Thanatos, Drunk)

    Tsui Hark (The Taking Of Tiger Mountain)

    Hou Hsiao-hsien (The Assassin)

    Pema Tseden (Tharlo)

    Jia Zhangke (Mountains May Depart)

    Best Leading Actor

    Lee Hong-chi (Thanatos, Drunk)

    Aaron Kwok (Port Of Call)

    Feng Xiaogang (Mr Six)

    Deng Chao (The Dead End)

    Dong Zijian (De Lan)

    Best Leading Actress

    Karena Lam (Zinnia Flower)

    Sylvia Chang (Office)

    Vivian Sung (Our Times)

    Shu Qi (The Assassin)

    Zhao Tao (Mountainsm May Depart)

    Best Original Screenplay

    Chang Tso-chi (Thanatos, Drunk)

    Tom Lin and Liu Wei-jan (Zinnia Flower)

    Philip Yung (Port Of Call)

    Guan Hu and Dong Runnian (Mr Six)

    Jia Zhangke (Mountains May Depart)

    Best Adapted Screenplay Sylvia Chang (Office)

    Zhong Acheng, Chu Tien-wen and Hsieh Hai-meng (The Assassin)

    Xu Haofeng (The Master)

    Pema Tseden (Tharlo)

    Cheng Yu-chieh and Lekal Sumi Cilangason (Wawa No Cidal)

Port Of Call by Hong Kong's Philip Yung, in which Aaron Kwok plays a policeman looking into the case of a dismembered corpse of a 16-year-old prostitute, has nine.

Also included in the Best Feature Film category are Tharlo by Tibetan director Pema Tseden, an adaptation of his novel about a shepherd who goes to the city to get his first ID photo; and Mountains May Depart by Chinese director Jia Zhangke, an epic family drama spanning decades and continents.

Aside from Hou, the nominees for Best Director include Chang, Pema, Jia and Hong Kong's Tsui Hark, who helmed the action flick The Taking Of Tiger Mountain.

In the Best Leading Actress category, Shu is up against Hong Kong's Karena Lam in Zinnia Flower, China's Zhao Tao in Mountains May Depart, Taiwan's Sylvia Chang in Office and Vivian Sung in Our Times.

According to the Central News Agency, the Best Leading Actor was a hotly debated category with Hong Kong's Andy Lau failing to make the cut for Saving Mr Wu by just one vote. Making the shortlist are Hong Kong's Kwok, Taiwan's Lee Hong- chi (Thanatos, Drunk), China's Feng Xiaogang (Mr Six), Deng Chao (The Dead End) and Dong Zijian (De Lan).

China's top-grossing movie of all time, the fantasy adventure Monster Hunt, has four nominations in the technical categories, including for Best Visual Effects and Best Art Direction.

Alec Su, formerly of the pop group Little Tigers, is in the running for Best New Director for the coming-of-age film, The Left Ear.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 03, 2015, with the headline 'Assassin tops Golden Horse nods'. Subscribe