I read online that the Best New Actor nomination of Tanaka Chie, the lead actress of Cape 7, in the Taiwanese Golden House Film Festival created some controversy because with her previous involvement in Japanese and Hong Kong films, she could not be considered as a new actor. What amaze me is that the criteria of Taiwanese Golden House Film Festival seem to be outdated. Or, I wonder if the news was merely for publicity purposes? For those who have seen Cape 7, the immense power of Tanaka Chie brought to the film, as Tokomo is unquestionable. Regardless of her previous involvement in films outside of Taiwan, in Cape 7, she speaks Mandarin Chinese. Before the film, she arrived in Taiwan to learn Mandarin because she believes her career would be centered in the wider Asia, instead of Japan. So she spent eight months learning Mandarin in Taiwan. The command of Mandarin Chinese Tanaka Chie has shown in the film could not be matched my any non-Chinese actors. Even some Chinese actors have felt shot in commanding the Mandarin, for example, movie stars from Hong Kong.
To Taiwanese audience, Tanaka Chie is a new actor. To Taiwanese movie circle, Tanaka Chie is a new actor. To Mandarin speaking Chinese and oversea Chinese as well as those mandarin speaking non-Chinese, Tanaka Chie is a new actor. Taiwan produces great amount of new actors every year, but how many of them could master a new language in eight months like Tanaka Chie? Many Taiwanese actors who have crossed over to Hong Kong for more than 10 years still failed to master Cantonese. How many Taiwanese actors could master Japanese in eight months?
I remember a scene in Cape 7 when Tanaka Chie cries that she was discriminated in foreign soils. May I remind the Taiwanese Golden House Film Festival not to discriminate? May I remind Taiwanese not to discriminate? Maybe I remind all the Mandarin speaking Chinese and non-Chinese not to discriminate.