Not content with winning the best actress prize at last Thursday's AFI Awards for her career-best performance as a Hong Kong immigrant to Australia teetering on the edge of self-destruction in Tony Ayres' The Home Song Stories, Joan Chen just won a Golden Horse for same performance! The Golden Horse Film Awards are China/Taiwan/Hong Kong's version of the Oscars or the AFIs and Chen beat out hotly tipped newcomer - and her Lust, Caution costar - Wei Tang for Ang Lee's sexy thriller, which took out best film, director and actor (for Tony Leung) honors amongst several others. Read about it by clicking here.
Chen's performance in the Aussie flick The Home Song Stories is really a very great one and if you compare it to her work as Josie Packard in Twin Peaks - arguably her most famous and noteworthy work until this year - it's a complete 180. While the film that surrounds her isn't as good as she, it's always great to see a actor just take the reigns and go with it. That she's been quoted as saying she was ready to quit acting before reading Ayres' script for The Home Song Stories makes me thankful that she didn't.
And as the picture at the top of this entry of Chen holding her AFI best actress trophy shows she still looks amazing, right?! I wonder if The Home Song Stories will ever receive an American release? It's Australia's submission for the 2008 Academy Awards' foreign film category - however unlikely I see it as a placegetter - but I would totally be on board in buzz-building for Chen's performance to be recognised.
Edited after the fact - I forgot to mention that The Home Song Stories took home another major prize from the Golden Horse Film Awards. The film's writer/director Tony Ayres won the best screenplay category, so well done to him even if (just quietly) it was the screenplay that let the film down.