‘Better Days’, directed by Derek Tsang, is the third-ever Hong Kong film nominated for an Oscar; the last being ‘Farewell My Concubine’ in 1993.
‘Better Days’ follows Chen Nian (Zhou Dongyu), a schoolgirl in her final year of high school, through innocuous events, like studying for the gaokao and first-love relationships, to much-less-so affairs, like assault, murder and suicide. An adaptation of a popular young adult novel by Jiu Yuexi entitled ‘In His Youth, In Her Beauty’, this film also stars Jackson Yee, a member of Chinese boy band TFBoys, as the main love interest opposite Zhou.
Prior to this Oscar nomination, ‘Better Days’ had already swept the board at the 2020 Hong Kong Film Awards, winning eight accolades including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume and Make Up Design, Best Original Film Song, Best Actress and Best New Performer.
The other nominees in the International Feature Film category are: ‘Another Round’ from Denmark, ‘Collective’ from Romania, ‘The Man Who Sold His Skin’ from Tunisia and “Quo Vadis, Aida?’ from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
For a complete list of nominees, visit the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ website here.