Tony Leung-starring crime thriller Where the Wind Blows has been submitted to the Oscars as Hong Kong’s candidate for Best International Feature Film.
Directed by Philip Yung, the film traces the rise of four corrupt police officers in 1960s Hong Kong, who are played by Leung, Aaron Kwok, Patrick Tan and Michael Chow. Produced with a budget reportedly around $38 million, the flick counts amongst one of the most expensive in Hong Kong cinema history.
“As a born and bred Hong Konger, this Hong Kong story had a different kind of meaning for me and aroused different kinds of feelings. The colors, the events — I have a deep connection to them, so to act in this sort of Hong Kong tale is meaningful in a different way,” said Leung in a promotional press conference at the Shanghai International Film Festival in 2019, as reported in Variety.
The film had faced issues with regards to its release: originally scheduled to be released in 2018, its release date was delayed due to troubles with Chinese film authorities. The film was then later meant to open the 2021 version of the Hong Kong International Film Festival, before it was ultimately pulled from the line-up three days before its screening, citing “technical reasons” – often a euphemism for last-ditch censorship by Beijing’s regulators.
It finally made its world premiere earlier in August, opening the 46th Hong Kong International Film Festival.
Meanwhile, Leung is also slated to appear alongside Wang Yibo in the Chinese film Anonymous, the third entry in Chinese production house Bona Film Group’s China Victory trilogy.
The Er Cheng-directed spy thriller is set in China during World War II from 1937 to 1945, while documenting China’s growth under the Communist Party. The film was originally targeted for release this August, but has yet to receive a concrete release date.
Leung’s most recent appearance was in Marvel’s Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, where he played the titular superhero’s father, Wenwu. In a four-star review, NME reviewer Nick Levine praised it as a “smart and satisfying superhero romp” that “overcomes a tricky origin story with ease”.