54th Daejong Film Awards
Award season has officially begun! On Wednesday night, the 54th Daejong (also Grand Bell) Film Awards were held, and while the Daejongs have typically always signaled the beginning of the awards ceremonies that crowd the last months of the year, they’ve become a rather subdued affair in recent years. That’s entirely of their own making, so nobody should be shedding tears for this award ceremony—their massive debacle two years ago essentially tanked their reputation overnight, and it still hasn’t recovered.
For the curious: Here’s what happened. For the lazy: Basically, they tried to force stars to show up, threatened to only give awards to attendees, got boycotted, and then desperately tried to backpedal. It was a disaster.
This year was supposed to be the “reboot” for the Daejongs (it was on all the promos and posters!), and while the event was more attended than in years past, it has a long way to go to recover its former glory. (Case in point: Only half of the Best Actor nominees showed up, while in the Best Actress category, everyone except the winner opted to skip the ceremony.)
Best Actress Choi Hee-seo
It was a big night for the historical film Park Yeol, also known as Anarchist From Colony, which picked up five trophies, the most of the night. The film stars Lee Je-hoon as troublemaking independence fighter Park Yeol and is helmed by lauded director Lee Jun-ik; Lee Je-hoon lost out on the Best Actor award, but director Lee did take home Best Director, and newcomer co-star Choi Hee-seo not only won Best Actress, but also Best New Actress. That’s always a notable achievement, and I make sure to remember those names.
Jo In-sung s crime thriller The King also had a respectable night, winning four of its fourteen nominations. And it’s not surprising that the emotional, based-on-a-true-story Song Kang-ho vehicle A Taxi Driver took home the biggest prize of the night, Best Picture; it only won two awards, but was nominated for eleven in total, which is certainly impressive.
Best Actor Sol Kyung-gu
Best Picture: A Taxi Driver
Director Award: Lee Jun-ik (Park Yeol)
Actor Award: Sol Kyung-gu (The Merciless)
Actress Award: Choi Hee-seo (Park Yeol)
Supporting Actor: Bae Sung-woo (The King)
Supporting Actress: Kim So-jin (The King)
New Actor: Park Seo-joon (Midnight Runners)
New Actress: Choi Hee-seo (Park Yeol)
New Director: Eom Tae-hwa (Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned)
Screenplay: Han Jae-rim (The King)
Lighting: Kim Jae-geun (The Prison)
Editing: Shin Min-kyung (The King)
Music: Dal Pa-ran (Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned)
Costuming: Shim Hyun-sub (Park Yeol)
Art Direction: Lee Jae-sung (Park Yeol)
Cinematography: Park Jung-hoon (The Villainess)
Planning: Choi Ki-sub, Park Eun-kyung (A Taxi Driver)
Technical Award: The Villainess
Special Award: Kim Young-ae
Park Seo-joon (Midnight Runners), like so many New Actor winners ahead of him, is bound to make us question what on earth “new” means to these awards, when some of these folks have been acting for yeeears. But I wouldn’t want to take his award away from him, nor do I want to take away our chance to see him in his finest black-tie formalwear. Lookin’ smooooth.
Girls Generations’ Yoon-ah (The King Loves) wasn’t up for anything, but she may have won the night with her look: In a sea of boring white dress (So. Many. White. Dresses!), she looked fresh, interesting, and sparkly, like it was her night and everyone was there to watch her own it.
I feel like Sohn Ye-jin could maybe have tried a little harder; she looks beautiful, but that’s just because she’s Sohn Ye-jin, not because her styling is doing anything extra for her. But I suppose it wasn’t her night, as last year’s Best Actress winner (for The Last Princess).
I’m almost shocked when Song Kang-ho is up for an award and doesn’t win it, especially when the project is as crowd-pleasing (and tear-stirring) as his A Taxi Driver. But we won’t cry for Song Kang-ho, because he will be nominated for awards every year for the rest of his life.
Ah, but it was a huge night for newcomer Choi Hee-seo, who is probably an unknown name to most but shouldn’t remain that way for much longer, given her Best Actress and New Actress wins here for Park Yeol (here with director Lee Jun-ik).
Choi Yoon-so has a super-simple dress, but wow does it make a statement. This dress is fitted perfectly, and she looks amazing.
I wouldn’t call Sohn Eun-soo’s (Seven Day Queen) look a wow look, but I do think it flatters her well—and at least it isn’t plain and white! We’re setting the bar low today, unless Victorian wedding happens to be your thing.
But I suppose if you must look like a Victorian bride, at least Jeon So-min (Running Man, 1% of Anything) is cute as a button and incorporates some nice lace detailing into her look.
Kim Sa-rang (Beloved Eun-dong) is rocking some serious cleavage, and the dress can look sultry in motion (showing off an unexpected leg slit). But from some other angles it looks a little… matronly? Which is definitely not the word I’d use to describe Kim Sa-rang.
I’m a sucker for a modernized hanbok design, so I’m predisposed to liking any hanbok-like choices, such as the one Ji Ahn (The Way, Coffee Mate) wears. That said, I don’t think this is the best version of the updated hanbok I’ve seen, and not the most flattering interpretation of the design. C for effort?
Minho was up for a New Actor award (Derailed), and while he lost out to his Hwarang-mate Park Seo-joon, he looks shiny and happy to be here. *pinches cheeks*
And the rest: