Friday, June 3, 2016

52nd Baeksang Awards Predictions

June isn't exactly award season in South Korea (that would be winter during the end of the year) but Baeksang Arts Awards rolls around in the summer to shake things up a bit. Like last year, I will be posting my own personal predictions of who I think should win this year, with a little commentary on the works that premiered in the year past. Different to other awards show, Baeksang gives out awards to both cinema and television, so there are lots of nominees. The award ceremony will happen on June 3rd, which is tonight, depending on when and where you're reading this.

For the film categories, there are 19 movies in nominations (not including popularity awards). I was only able to watch 7 of them, which isn't even half of it. But of those 7, all of them are nominated in the major categories (Best Movie, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress), and they were my priority. For the drama categories, I was able to finish 6 out of 12, and briefly watched another 2. In comparison to the films, really not that bad. I suppose this is because last year's dramas really hasn't been all that great compared to 2014's. Actually, this year in general I wasn't as excited as I was with some of last year's works. It really was a violent year this year. Lots of people's bodies got mangled this year, really not my cup of tea.


Daesang for Films
The sad thing about this year is that there really isn't any film that drew me in and made the lasting impression as it did last year. So for the Daesang winner prediction, I really have no idea. My guess will be something that has to do with Veteran since it's both critically-acclaimed and a massive box-office hit (3rd of all time). So either director Ryu Seung-wan will win or box-office gold Hwang Jung-min (seriously, his last 5 films has been runaway hits).

Best Film
Fourth Place, Inside Men, Dongju, Veteran, Assassination
I was only able to watch three out of the five nominated works. To be honest, I was quite surprised Fourth Place was nominated since I haven't heard much of this movie at all. I thought Hong Sang-soo's Right Now Wrong Then would get a mention but there was none at all this year (I haven't watched that movie, but there were several mentions in the year end awards). For my choice, I'd have to give it to Veteran, even though I wouldn't call it a personal favorite. I did like Assassination better, mostly because it was pretty tame compared to the others. But even I would admit Veteran had a lot of stuff going for it, both entertainment and social factor.

Best Director
Ryu Seung-wan (Veteran), Oh Seung-wook (The Shameless), Woo Min-ho (Inside Men), Lee Joon-ik (Dong-ju), Choi Dong-hoon (Assassination)
I really wish I could watch Dongju, since it seems like such an interesting movie. I also wasn't able to watch The Shameless. Since I'm not a director myself and am not familiar with the world of cinema aside from being merely a fan, I can't really differentiate between Best Film and Best Director, honestly. But, when it comes to most lauded directors in this year's list, Ryu Seung-wan of Veteran and Lee Joon-ik of Dongju comes to mind. More specifically, Lee Joon-ik has two big movies in the past year, and Baeksang decided to nominate Dongju, despite The Throne being the bigger film. So for this category, my vote goes to Lee Joon-ik.

Best Actor
Bae Yoon-sik (Inside Men), Song Kang-ho (The Throne), Yoo Ah-in (The Throne)Lee Byung-hun (Inside Men), Hwang Jung-min (Veteran)
Fortunately I was able to watch all the performances on this list, and boy was it difficult to choose. Interestingly enough there are two movies with double nominations. Yoo Ah-in won in last year's Blue Dragon Awards so I'm not sure whether he'll win again for Baeksang, especially since he's also a strong contender for Best Actor in Drama. Really, everyone did a fantastic job in their roles. I particularly loved Lee Byung-hun's, where it's actually the first time I've seen him. True to word, he really is one fantastic, magnetic actor. This one's a tough category for sure.

Best Actress
Kim Hye-soo (Coin Locker Girl), Lee Jung-hyun (Alice in Earnestland), Jeon Do-yeon (The Shameless), Jun Ji-hyun (Assassination), Han Hyo-joo (Beauty Inside)
Similarly enough, the actresses in this category are amazing. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to watch Jeon Do-yeon in The Shameless. Despite finding new light for Han Hyo-joo in Beauty Inside, her character there is much too tame compared to the others. Personally, it's between Jun Ji-hyun in Assassination and Kim Hye-soo in Coin Locker Girl. But in the end, I have to give it to Jun Ji-hyun, who was all sorts of intense as an assassinator on top of playing double roles as twin sisters who grew up in different upbringings. She's been really impressive in recent years, much more charismatic and comfortable than her earlier years.

Best Supporting Actor
Bae Sung-woo (Office), Uhm Tae-goo (Coin Locker Girl), Oh Dal-su (Veteran), Lee Kyeong-young (Minority Opinion), Jo Jin-woong (Assassination)
Aside from Uhm Tae-goo who played the unfortunate oppa role in Coin Locker Girl, the rest of the nominees on this list are regulars in this category, what you would call the elite supporting actors. While I didn't watch Office  nor Minority Opinion, both Bae Sung-woo and Lee Kyeong-young did star in Inside Men, and I wouldn't be surprised if their roles weren't all too different. But I'm going to be fair and judge the performances I did see, and of the three, I have to give it to Jo Jin-woong. I promise this decision is removed from his heart-thumping performance in the drama Signal. He really was a scene stealer in that movie, as the ever so optimistic comrade. If Yoo Hae-jin was nominated instead of Oh Dal-su, I think I'd pick him but Yoo came home with basically all the Best Supporting Actor awards for last year's The Pirates so I think that was why they made the decision to nominate someone else.

Best Supporting Actress
Ra Mi-ran (Himalaya), Ryu Hye-gyeong (Office), Uhm Ji-won (The Silenced), Jang Young-nam (The Classified File), Jeon Hye-jin (The Throne)
Beginning my start of blatant guessing, for this category, I was only able to watch Jeon Hye-jin in The Throne. While I wouldn't say she was terrible (she's actually really good), I can't help but get distracted with her old lady makeup in that movie. I really can't choose who, but since Jeon also won last year's Blue Dragon, I guess I'll have to pick her too.

Best New Actor
Go Gyung-pyo (Coin Locker Girl), Park Bo-gum (Coin Locker Girl), Park Seo-joon (Chronicles of Evil), Park Jung-min (Dongju), Tae In-ho (Shadow Island)
I have absolutely no idea who will win in this. Both Park Bo-gum and Go Gyung-pyo were great in Coin Locker Girl, but I don't know why I think Park Jung-min might be going home with the award. His role in Dongju were bigger than any of the other nominees, basically a co-lead to Kim Ha-neul. Not sure if that's enough for an award though. It's really unfortunate Kim Ha-neul was already nominated last year for his role in the lackluster Twenty because if he were to squeeze in this year, he would've won.

Best New Actress
Kwon So-hyun (Madonna), Kim Sae-byuk (A Midsummer's Fantasia), Kim Si-eun (Su Saek), Park So-dam (The Priests), Jung Ha-dam (Steel Flower)
Here's where the real guessing game begins. I have not seen any of the nominated actresses in this category, mostly because the majority of the movies are small indies, very unlikely to show up in the international movie scene. Of the nominees, I have heard good things about Kwon So-hyun in Madonna and Park So-dam nominated for The Priests. Park So-dam is perhaps the most known of all the rookies, with the media calling her the "monster rookie", starring in 7 movies in 2015 alone, her 3rd year since debuting in 2013. Since she's such a favorable name in Chungmuro, I wouldn't be surprised if she wins.

Best New Director
Kim Seong-je (Minority Opinion), Ahn Gooc-jin (Alice in Earnestland), Choi Seung-yeon (Su Saek), Han Jun-hee (Coin Locker Girl), Hong Won-chan (Office)
Yet again another guessing game, although for this category it's not too bad with 2 out of 5. I don't have any strong opinions on the ones I saw and did not see too much excitement on the others. So really, I have no idea. Of the two I watched, I thought Coin Locker Girl had a stronger emotional core than Alice in Earnestland which went on a spiral itself in the end. Coin Locker Girl also had the strongest box office of them all, if that helps anything. So my vote goes to Han Jun-hee of Coin Locker Girl.

Best Screenplay
Kwak Gyeong-taek and Han Seung-woon (The Classified File), Ryu Seung-wan (Veteran), Shin Yeon-shick (Dongju), Ahn Gooc-jin (Alice in Earnestland), Choi Dong-hoon (Assassination)\
I watched three of the nominees but I have a feeling the winner would not be among them. The Classified File seems interesting and while it was nominated several times between Buil Film Awards and Blue Dragon Film Awards, it managed to only win one, which doesn't bode very well. On the other hand I've been hearing so much praise for Dongju, which also managed to attract quite a few tickets (1.16 millions as of May 2016) despite being a low budget, pretty serious fare. So Dongju it is.



I have this strong inkling that writer Kim Eun-sook will win for her creation of this year's ultra popular drama Descendants of the Sun. Song Joong-ki may have shot to mega-stardom with his role, but Kim Eun-sook has been mentioned a million times in the media for creating the ultimate swoon-worthy characters and making superstars out of the actors in her dramas. I may not like her writing style, but apparently it's amazing to everyone else.

Best Drama
MBC She Was Pretty, tvN Signal, SBS Six Flying Dragons, tvN Reply 1998, KBS Descendants of the Sun
Signal. No doubt about it. I think I'd be okay if Six Flying Dragons won instead, since it's much more epic. Or even Reply 1988, despite its many, many flaws. But if Descendants of the Sun wins, I won't be happy at all, mostly because the writing is all kinds of terrible. She Was Pretty isn't a serious contender in this category, in my opinion.

Best Educational Program
JTBC Kim Je-dong's Talk to You, KBS The Next Human, tvN The Secret Reader's Club, SBS Wind for School, EBS Docuprime Test
I'll have to pull something out of thin air for this one, and my pick goes to Docuprime Test. Just because it sounds cool with the portmanteau.

Best Entertainment Program
JTBC Please Take Care of My Refrigerator, SBS Same Bed Different Dreams, MBC My Little Television, tvN Actor School, MBC King of Masked Singer
I wish 1 Night 2 Days were nominated. Actually no, maybe it should be nominated last year. Seriously, Season 3 is so awesome. Highly recommend it. But of the nominated, maybe King of Masked Singer? I don't know, I'm not a regular viewer of the nominated shows, except the occasional Please Take Care of My Refrigerator which is mostly awesome because I really like food.

Best Director
Kim Won-seok (Signal), Shin Gyeong-su (Six Flying Dragons), Shin Won-ho (Reply 1988), Lee Eung-bok and Baek Sang-hun (Descendants of the Sun), Jung Dae-yoon (She Was Pretty)
I'm tempted to say Kim Won-seok of Signal, mostly because that drama is all kinds of awesome. But I'd actually prefer it to be Shin Won-ho of Reply 1988. I know this season's episodes are as way too long, but Shin has a magical touch and it really shows in this season. He also has a knack in bringing out the best in actors, something not many directors can claim for themselves. On the other hand, I'd actually be okay if Lee Eung-bok and Baek Sang-hoon of Descendants won, since if anything, the directing in this drama is not bad at all. But I'd still prefer Shin Won-ho.

Best Screenplay
Kim Eun-sook and Kim Won-seok (Descendants of the Sun), Kim Young-hyeon and Park Sang-yeon (Six Flying Dragons), Kim Eun-hee (Signal), Lee Woo-jung (Reply 1988), Yang Hee-seung (Oh My Ghostess)
Kim Eun-hee of Signal. Hear me out. Crime procedurals tend to be boring and repetitive but Kim not only made a procedural drama exciting, but she was also able to integrate a time-bending element to the story without tripping herself crazy. If anything, Signal's biggest strength is its extremely well-made script, so Kim Eun-hee deserves her award.

Best Actor
Namgoong Min (Remember: War of Son), Song Joong-ki (Descendants of the Sun), Yoo Ah-in (Six Flying Dragons), Jo Jin-woong (Signal), Joo Won (Yongpal)
I'm pretty sure you'll know who I'll say. Jo Jin-woong, of course. How can you not? His Lee Jae-han is the best. Sorry Song Joong-ki and Yoo Ah-in, I'd pick this ajusshi over you any day. But I'm afraid Song Joong-ki will win due to his crazy popularity though. I love Song Joong-ki but Yoo Shi-jin can dig his own grave.

Best Actress
Kim Hyun-joo (I Have a Lover), Kim Hye-soo (Signal), Ra Mi-ran (Reply 1988), Song Hye-gyo (Descendants of the Sun), Hwang Jung-eum (She Was Pretty)
To me it's down to the two amazing ladies, badass boss Kim Hye-soo of Signal and Lady Cheetah Ra Mi-ran of Reply 1988. Both are crazy charismatic playing untypical female roles. In Signal, Kim Hye-soo showed such a different side of herself that you sometimes forget that she's originally known as a femme fatale. Ra Mi-ran, on the other hand, rose through the ranks from the scene stealing supporting role to a character that probably deserves her own show. Between the two, though, I'd have to give it to Kim Hye-soo, mostly due to how wide of a range Cha Soo-hyun allowed her to explore.

Best New Actor
Ryu Jun-yeol (Reply 1988), Byun Yo-han (Six Flying Dragons), Ahn Jae-hong (Reply 1988), Yook Sung-jae (Who Are You?: School 2015), Lee Dong-hwi (Reply 1988)
Probably Byun Yo-han. I was actually surprised he was nominated since for some reason I thought he already did last year, but he wasn't. Of course I'd love it if Kim Jungpal Ryu Jun-yeol won as the ultimate tsundere, but Byun had a lot more going on for him in the very few episodes I saw of him in Six Flying Dragons than whatever was happening with Jung-hwan in the almost 40 hours that show aired. And you know, mane of glory helps a whole lot.

Best New Actress
Kim Go-eun (Cheese in the Trap), Ryu Hye-young (Reply 1988), Park So-dam (Because It's the First Time), Lee Sung-kyung (Queen's Flower), Hyeri (Reply 1988)
Despite all the hate she gets online, and her lackluster performance in darker roles, I really loved Kim Go-eun in Cheese in the Trap. She was so charming portraying a very normal girl unintentionally thrown in some rich boy drama. The projection that drama went during its tail end is unfortunate, but Kim Go-eun really tried her best, as did pretty much every other actor as well.

Best Male Variety Performer
Kim Gu-ra, Kim Seong-ju, Kim Young-cheol, Yoon Jung-soo, Jung Joon-ha
I'm really unaware of most of these people, specifically because I don't regularly watch the shows they're in. My wild guess will be Jung Joon-ha, who, oddly enough, participated in the rap show Show Me The Money. I don't think he was nominated for that show (the nominees weren't associated with any particular show), but I thought that was cool.

Best Female Variety Performer
Kim Sook, Park Na-rae, Oh Na-mi, Jang Do-yeon, Hong Yoon-hwa
Unlike the male nominees who participated in mostly MC-ing stuff, the ladies are all mostly known as gagwomen. This year, in terms of popularity, I've seen a huge support for Kim Sook, who's quite the veteran herself. But due to her various appearances in many variety shows, she seems to get some recognition as a great performer herself. Of course, Park Na-rae is super popular and funny herself. Actually, all the ladies are really funny. I hope they get a variety show of their own someday. My final answer: Kim Sook.

And that would be it for today. Sorry for the lack of photos this year, since I was the worst (or best?) procrastinator ever so I had no time to get together a decent collage for you all. But I hope the content will do. Stay tune for later tonight for the show, and tomorrow for the final recap of who actually wins. I'm hoping I'm getting a lot right this year (and I'm more specific, so I can actually count). But like always, the results will be controversial, and I know I'll cry over some of them. I just know it.

1 comment:

  1. Could you point out many many flaws of REPLY 1988?
    Don't bring me to your review of the show cause I finished it. I'd really love your writing style and the way you explain your thoughts.

    Many many thanks.