Film ratings

Hong Kong critics pick ‘Limbo’ as best film

Action-thriller “Limbo” has been named Best Film of 2021 at the annual Hong Kong Film Critics’ Society Awards. The film’s lead actress, Chinese actress Cya Liu, won Best Actress for her role as a young drug addict.

The results of five awards and 10 recommended films were decided on January 16, 2022 after nine hours of deliberation and three rounds of voting. A total of 48 films released in 2021 met the entry criteria for the awards, which is in its 28th edition this year.

Critics said the Cantonese noir “Limbo,” based on the novel of the same name by Mainland author Lei Mi, was an “extraordinary work.” It was directed by Soi Cheang (“Accident”, “SPL II”, “The Monkey King” series).

The dark, crumbling slum that serves as the backdrop for the story that revolves around a cop duo’s hunt for a serial killer – much like how an imaginary town in southern China is portrayed in the novel – is a metaphor for a “near future, abstract and mythical Hong”. Kong,” the critics said.

The film narrowly beat “Drifting,” a Hong Kong homeless drama based on true stories.

The Best Director award went to the late Benny Chan, for his latest film, the thriller ‘Raging Fire’. Chan (“Gen-X Cops”, “New Police Story”, “Divergence”) died at the age of 58 in 2020. Critics said that while Chan made a film that challenged the principles of justice and morality in a compromised institutional system, it also set a new bar for action movie aesthetics with the final gunfight scene.

Director Ricky Ko’s first-time dark comedy “Time” won the remaining two awards. Eighty-five-year-old screen legend Patrick Tse, who began his career as an on-screen idol nearly four decades ago when some films were still shot in monochrome, has been named best actor for his refreshing performance as a retired assassin. The award for Tse, who is the father of actor-singer Nicholas Tse, is also his first acting award in his showbiz career.

The screenplay written by Ho Ching-yi and Gordon Lam, who is also the film’s producer (and the main star of “Limbo”), received the award for best screenplay, for “telling the sad reality of the problems of the elderly with a lively black humor”, the critics mentioned.

The band’s annual recommended viewing list includes: “Raging Fire”, “Hand Rolled Cigarette”, “Drifting”, “Time”, “Caught In Time”, “Coffin Homes”, “Shock Wave 2”, “The Way We Keep Danser”, “Anita” and “Zero to Hero”.