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History, kung fu, city life on award run

JOHN Woo's recent Chinese historical epic, a biopic of Bruce Lee's kung fu master, and a documentary-like film about a working-class neighborhood racked up the most nominations at the Hong Kong Film Awards, organizers announced yesterday.

Woo's "Red Cliff" picked up 15 nominations, and Wilson Yip's profile of Lee's martial arts teacher, Ip Man, received 12.

But the biggest surprise among the leading contenders was veteran director Ann Hui's "The Way We Are," a little-known movie that follows the life of a single mother in Hong Kong's Tin Shui Wai district.

The other best picture nominees are Hong Kong comedian Stephen Chow's sci-fi "CJ7" and Gordon Chan's ghost thriller "Painted Skin."

Woo, Yip and Hui are also up for best director, competing against Benny Chan ("Connected") and Johnnie To, who was nominated for "Sparrow," a playful look at a pickpocket gang.

Former Cannes winner Tony Leung received a nod for best actor for playing a Chinese general in "Red Cliff." He faces off with action star Donnie Yen, who played Ip Man, Simon Yam in "Sparrow," Nick Cheung from the police thriller "The Beast Stalker," and heartthrob Louis Koo, who portrayed a gangster in "Run Papa Run."


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