Thursday, 11 July 2013

Alternate Best Actor 1994: Tony Leung Chiu Wai in Chungking Express

Tony Leung Chiu Wai did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Cop 663 in Chungking Express.

Chungking Express is an enjoyable stylistic film about two separate stories that are romances of sorts between cops and women they see on their beats.

Tony Leung the very popular leading man of Hong Kong plays somewhat simple part as the male lead of the second story. Leung plays a beat cop who is somewhat depressed by his recent break up with a flight attendant. He does catch the eye of the new girl at the snack bar named Faye (Faye Wong), who goes on a process to try to cheer him up in a rather odd covert fashion that involves sneaking into the officer's apartment to tidy things up. The majority of Leung's performance is on a fairly steady note of slight depression, this is fitting of the character though and Leung importantly never comes of repetitive despite his character being rather consistent.

Even as a character who is a bit under the weather in terms of his outlook Leung still has an effective charm in the role and he makes the cop quite likable even though he really never seems to be trying to make anyone like him. Leung is enjoyable within the depression of his character. He handles all of his scenes nicely including the ones where he talks to various things around his bathroom as if they were people. He makes the little eccentricity entertaining, and not in anyway over the top as the whole idea sounds. Leung's scenes where he is focused upon are limited though as much of the second story focuses on Faye trying to cheer the cop up.

Leung doesn't have a lot of changes for most of his performance, but this actually is what is best to create the proper dynamic with Faye Wong's peppy performance. They through the differing attitudes creates an effective chemistry that also is believable as well. Most of their scenes together are decidedly not romantic in the traditional fashion, but they all very charming in their own rather peculiar way. Leung is very good in showing how her constant cherry behavior does slowly penetrate the cop's rather thick gloom that keeps him from really enjoying much of anything in his life.

Tony Leung's whole performance in this film does not have many variations, but this actually works best particularly for the last scene of the film. The last scene involves the cop and Faye meeting one more time after some time as passed and she has become a flight attendant and the cop has bought the old snack stand that she use to work out. Leung is very good in this scene as he capitalizes on the rest of his performance by showing the cop finally with a far brighter outlook, and it is a nicely heartfelt scene that gives an appropriately wonderful ending to their story. Leung's work might not be an incredible performance by any means, but like the film itself it is low key but rather endearing.

7 comments:

Lezlie said...

Who would have thought Johnny would rank higher than him? :D

Off topic: I know Louis, that you like Breaking Bad. Since it is coming to an end, have you planned on watching some other show? I'm watching Sons of Anarchy now, and I was surprised by how much I got sucked into it. It is a great show, I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone. You guys watch any TV series?

Michael Patison said...

Netflix streaming somewhat unfortunately has made my life far less about watching movies and far more about streaming episode after episode of TV shows. I have watched the entirety of the following (as far as they are available to stream) unless stated otherwise:
Battlestar Galactica
Firefly
The West Wing
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Angel
Twin Peaks (only the 1st season b/c that's all that's necessary)
Grey's Anatomy (seasons 1-6.5 I think; 1st 3 are superb and then it rapidly goes downhill)
NCIS (this is my guilty pleasure, have seen all 200-whatever episodes, and watch it every Tuesday night)
Doctor Who (all but the most recently aired season)
Breaking Bad (1-4, 1st half of 5 isn't posted obviously until the season and series are over)
Desperate Housewives (seasons 1-5)
Parks and Recreation (most of them I actually didn't sit down and watch but saw 3/5 or so of them when my roommate was plowing through it; love it and need to sit down and go through it from the beginning)
30 Rock (1-5.5; I'm currently watching this one and it's probably my favorite comedy ever)
Frasier (1-2.5; I absolutely adore it but just so long and I get distracted easily)
Psych
Magnum, P.I. (seasons 1-2.5; it's nothing but fun, but I just wanted something else
Miami Vice (half of 1st season; it's really damn cool but it's all atmosphere so it gets repetitive quite quickly)
Torchwood (all but Miracle Day)
The Newsroom (I know it's not on Netflix, but I did it through iTunes recently when I gave it a second chance after being disillusioned by the pilot and 1st half of the 2nd episode; ended up quite enjoying it)

I've also watched a couple of episodes of the first seasons of L.A. Law, Law & Order (plus all of the random episodes I saw when it was still on the air), Star Trek: TNG (I'll pick this up again in a later season at some point), and I'm sure there are a few others I can't think of.

On top of those, I've also seen the pilots of St. Elsewhere, Road to Avonlea, Picket Fences, ER, Dallas (original of course), Hill Street Blues

Michael Patison said...

Also, I'm in the middle of the second season of Damages but took a break for 30 Rock

Michael Patison said...

Forgot to mention that I'm also a huge Downton Abbey fan.

Lezlie said...

Wow man that's a lot :D

So far I've seen LOST and Prison Break; watching Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, True Blood (sort of, I lost almost all interest as lately the show sucks), Dexter, The Walking Dead and Sons of Anarchy. Oh and we're starting Mad Men with my girlfriend.

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

I just started watching Breaking Bad. So far, so good. I'm on the last episode of Season 1. How much longer before Buggin' Out from Do the Right Thing becomes Walt's boss?

Michael Patison said...

Oh my goodness, you haven't even had a taste yet of anything the show has to offer yet, except for it's unparalleled TV visuals as well as its spectacular writing and direction, all of which only get better and better, season 2 (Esposito's in a few of the episodes if I recall) is quite good, 3 is great, and 4 is just absolutely incredible and is probably the single greatest season of television I've ever seen. I can't wait until I have a chance to see season 5.