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Chinese Movies Crazy for Oscar, Ignore Results
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The Curse of the Golden Flower and The Banquet will compete for Best Foreign Film award nominations at the 2007 Oscars, one representing the Chinese mainland, and the other representing the district of Hong Kong.


Although the two movies' Oscar journey has yet to start, they have already benefited from the huge impact they have made through participating in the "Shen Ao" project.


In Chinese, an Oscar bid and the Olympic Games bid are both pronounced "shen ao".


Since China has already successfully bid for the 2008 Olympic Games, people have diverted their attention to entertainment 'shen ao', which explains why Chinese movies aiming for the Oscars are receiving such attention. Columnists are eager to discuss each nominated movie, to judge its artistic value and seek its real meaning. Audiences can't wait to buy movie tickets so they can put in their two cents' worth.


Claiming to make a bid for an Oscar has become the easiest way to boost a movie's box office sales.


This year there are four nominated movies: The Curse of the Golden Flower, The Banquet, Curiosity Kills the Cat and The Road, while last year there were only two to join in the competition.


All four movies became famous overnight. The Banquet, starring China's hottest actress Zhang Ziyi, is the box office champion in China this year. While the Curse of the Golden Flower, starring Gong Li and directed by Zhang Yimou, seems to Curse's most powerful rival.


The Curse of Golden Flower and The Banquet will continue to try to impress Hollywood, but how much success they can achieve at the Oscars awards is no longer important, as all four have promising box office sales.


(China Daily October 18, 2006)

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