Movie: The Grandmaster
What it’s up for: Cinematography, Costume Design

It’s hard for me to get into Kung Fu movies, not gonna lie. But, I stuck through this one and it was good.

The story follows the biography of Ip Man, the martial arts master who trained Bruce Lee. It was actually quite interesting to learn about how the Northern and Southern parts of China developed their own kung fu schools and how there are so many different types of kung fu. There was also some romance elements to it which kept me interested.

Overall, the flow feels strange just because it is just structured differently than the Hollywood styles. It’s just different – not bad, different. The plot is semi-engaging and happens in short bursts between long stretches of (awesome) kung fu scenes. The cinematography is unbelievable. They do things with water, snow, dust, and smoke to make the action sequences look amazing and the rest of the scenes look like works of art. The use of light and dark plays a major role in the intensity of the film.

The costume design is fantastic but not for the reasons you may expect. The movie takes place over the 1930s, 40s, and 50s in China and Hong Kong. The costumes are not only distinctly Chinese and beautiful but also distinctly influenced by the decade they are in. The fact that the actors could perform a lot of intense kung fu moves in some very complex and heavy-looking costumes shows how well the costumes were crafted.

It’s an interesting movie and has many intriguing characters. It looks beautiful and was very well constructed. It’s not my favorite subject matter to watch for an hour and a half, but it was good.

Cinematography: It probably won’t. This is a tough category.

Costume Design: Probably not.