The 2nd Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards

  • Best Film: Summer Snow
  • Best Director: Derek Yee (Full Throttle)
  • Best Screenplay: Kei On (A Chinese Odyssey)
  • Best Actor: Stephen Chiau (A Chinese Odyssey)
  • Best Actress:
    Josephine Siao
    (Summer Snow)
    Siqin Gaowa
    (The Day the Sun Turned Cold)
  • Films of Merit:
    A Chinese Odyssey
    The Day the Sun Turned Cold
    Full Throttle
    Fallen Angels
    The Day That Doesn't Exist
    The Blade
    The Case of the Cold Fish
    Once in a Life Time

Members of the Hong Kong Film Critics Society sat in a plenary session on Sunday, 4 February 1996 to deliberate over the five awards of Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Actress of 1995 that are presented by the society. The awards were determined by vote in each category after earnest debate and discussion that lasted a total of seven hours.

Stephen Chiau, who lost the 1994 Best Actor Award to Leslie Cheung by only two votes was the unanimous winner this year. Chiau's performance as the Monkey King in A Chinese Odyssey is a tour de force that fully captured both the comic and tragic dimensions of the character.

On the distaff side, Josephine Siao and Siqin Gaowa were the two contenders for the Best Actress Award. Siao's performance in Summer Snow brought out the extraordinary qualities of an ordinary woman, while Siqin's performance in The Day the Sun Turned Cold did the exact opposite: hers was a portrait of an extraordinary woman etched in the everyday, ordinary strokes of common humanity. Siao gave a flamboyant performance while Siqin gave a subtle one, but both actresses garnered the same amount of votes to share the award.

Contending for the Best Screenplay Award were Kei On for A Chinese Odyssey, his successful adaptation of stories from the classic novel Journey to the West, and Wang Xingdong and Wang Jiebin, for the somber tale of The Day the Sun Turned Cold, told in a cool and mature style. The award went to Kei On.

The debate for the Best Director and Best Film Awards was heated. Yim Ho was the hot favourite for the Best Director category due to his remarkable humanist vision in The Day the Sun Turned Cold. After three rounds of voting, Yim's lead was cut by only one vote in the last round. Consequently the award went to Derek Yee for Full Throttle. Yee won due to his steadfast dedication to excellence and creativity.

The competition for the Best Film Award was between Ann Hui's Summer Snow and Jeff Lau's A Chinese Odyssey. The last three rounds of voting ultimately settled the issue in favour of Ann Hui's Summer Snow. Hui's film marks her return to the Hong Kong environment and reaffirms humanist sentiments in a tale about faith in survival. The all-rounded achievements of Summer Snow made it an apt recipient for the society's Best Film Award.

In addition, the Society has chosen eight "Films of Merit". These are:

  • A Chinese Odyssey (a retelling of a traditional folkloric tale that successfully combines both commercial and artistic properties);
  • The Day the Sun Turned Cold (a moving but restrained and realistic adaptation of a real incident, posing a moral dilemma for its central hero);
  • Full Throttle ( for its deep characterizations and mature technique);
  • Fallen Angels (a personal summation of sorts for Wong Kar-wai, with an unexpected tale of a father and son relationship seeping through the stylistic brilliance);
  • The Day That Doesn't Exist (for its rich black humour and world-weary sentiments that are not bereft of a certain wisdom);
  • The Blade (for Tsui Hark's incredible creative energy in creating a different martial arts universe, one marked by primitive and anarchic violence);
  • The Case of the Cold Fish (for its leisurely and carefree style achieved in sharp contrast to the prevalent current of hysteria and acute cynicism);
  • Once in a Life Time (for its high level of creativity and display of personal emotions).

The Awards Presentation Ceremony for the Second Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards was held at the Planet Hollywood on 28 February 1996. Director Hou Hsiao-hsien was invited to preside over the ceremony.