★Breaking News (大事件)
Representing: Hong Kong, China
Directed by Johnny To (杜琪鋒)
A frequent visitor to the Golden Horse, Johnny To makes, on average, three films a year. Every year, at least one out of his three films gets nominated for Best Picture category at the Golden Horse. Last year it was PTU, the action film about the police and gangland mind games.
This year, it's Breaking News, another police crime movie but with the addition of a subplot about media manipulation. To was also nominated for Best Director for this film.
The film is a fast-paced affair with slick cinematography, though audiences may find it hard to follow some of the scenes. It begins with a TV news broadcast that an embarrassing defeat of a police battalion by five bank robbers has taken place.
The credibility of the police force drops and some 30,000 policemen are mobilized to patrol every possible exit route and city border.
While on a separate investigation in a run-down building, detective Heng (Nick Cheung,張家輝) discovers the hideout of the robbers.
Heng and his men enter the building and prepare to take their foes out, while, in order to beat the media at its own game, Inspector Rebecca (Kelly Chan, 陳慧琳) decides to turn the stakeout into a live broadcast show.
★The Moon Also Rises (月光下我記得)
Directed by Lin Cheng-sheng (林正盛)
This film is seen as one of the best works of Lin Cheng-sheng -- and perhaps for actress Yang Kui-mei (楊貴媚) as well. It is a movie that contains strong dramatic elements.
The film is adapted from novelist Li Ang's (李昂) novel of the same title. Set in the 1950s, the White Terror period, the film is filled with a suffocating atmosphere and strong repression of emotion.
The lead, Bao-tsai (Yang Kui-mei), lives in a comfy mansion on Tulan Mountain in Taitung. The house faces Green Island in the Pacific Ocean, where Bao-tsai's husband was detained as political prisoner.
Having divorced, the single mother lives with her teenage daughter and a loyal maid in an isolated house by the sunny seashore. While the mother tries hard to hide her trauma, her adolescent daughter has learned to liberate herself in love and freedom.
Maybe out of jealousy, or for some other reason, the mother begins to monitor the daughter's life and her brewing relationship with a young man from China. Until one day she meets the man in person.
Representing: Hong Kong
Directed by Wang Kar Wai (王家衛)
Continuing the story of In the Mood For Love, Wong Kar again presents a visually glamorous romantic drama. Rich in nostalgia, every character in the picture indulges in his or her own sentimental world.
The year was 1966. Chow Mo Wan (Tony Leung, 梁朝偉) returns to Hong Kong and has to confront a concealed past. He now has a Clark Gable-like mustache and is more slickly dressed. After experiencing the trauma of love, Chow has changed.
He has sealed his heart and is now a hedonistic writer, writing cheap erotic novels for a living, holding parties every night.
There are many women. He first meets an old acquaintance Lulu, who is later murdered by the jealous boyfriend. Then he has a game-like relationship with Bai Ling (Zhang Ziyi, 章子怡), a seductively charming woman. And then there is Jing-wen (Faye Wong, 王菲), who works hard to go to Japan to meet her boyfriend, despite her father's disapproval.