Little Big Master
Little Big Master is a 2015 Hong Kong drama film co-written and directed by Adrian Kwan and starring Miriam Yeung and Louis Koo. The film is based on a true story where Lilian Lui, former headmistress of an elite kindergarten in Discovery Bay whom originally planned to retire to travel around the world with her husband Alvin Tse, takes up a job with a monthly salary of HK$4,500 to continue educating five remaining pupils single-handedly in Yuen Long's Yuen Kong Kindergarten, which was on the verge for closure in 2009, and puts her travel plans on hold. Little Big Master was a critical and commercial success, grossing HK$46.6 million at the Hong Kong box office and becoming the highest-grossing domestic film of 2015 in the territory.
|Little Big Master|
|Mandarin||Wǔ Gè Xiǎo Hái De Xiào Zhǎng|
|Cantonese||Ng5 Go3 Siu2 Haai4 Dik1 Haau6 Zeong2|
|Directed by||Adrian Kwan|
|Produced by||Benny Chan|
|Screenplay by||Adrian Kwan|
|Music by||Wong Kin-wai|
|Edited by||Curran Pang|
Sun Entertainment Culture
One Cool Film Production
Beijing Monster Pictures
Yunnan Parashorea Cathayensis Culture Communication
Yiming Culture Communication
Foshan Joint Media Group
Sirius Pictures International
|Distributed by||Universe Films Distribution|
|19 March 2015|
|Box office||HK$46.6 million|
Lui Wai-hung (Miriam Yeung) is a headmistress of an international kindergarten. Feeling disillusioned with the education system, she quits her high-paying job as a principal and plans to travel around the world with her husband Tse Wing-tung (Louis Koo). However, she puts her travel plans on hold when she sees a news report on television where Yuen Tin Kindergarten, located in Yuen Long, was on the verge of closure with only five students left. Also, due to financial difficulties, the school can only use HK$4,500 to hire a headmaster and staff. Rekindling her passion for teaching, Lui applies for the job and hopes to help the five children transfer to another school. When Headmistress Lui assumes office, she discovers that these five children have different family problems. Student Ka-ka's father (Philip Keung) was crippled during an accident and is often threatened by property developers with eviction; Mei-chu's parents were killed in a traffic accident, with Auntie Han (Anna Ng), a restaurant employee, as her only guardian; Siu-suet's mother was not approved for Hong Kong residency and lives with her elderly father Mr. Ho (Richard Ng), who sells metal scraps for a living; Pakistani sisters Kitty and Jennie's father does not see a need for girls to study, so when school bus prices increased, he simply did not allow his daughters to go to school anymore.
Faced with the problems of her students, Lui does her best to help them, such as acting as a volunteer driver and picking Kitty and Jennie up for school, sorting out Ka-ka's family problems, etc. At the same time, she also has to deal with school administrations, while also taking care of janitorial work. In addition, Lui reminds her students and their parents to have a dream, while her own dream is to be a teacher who never gives up. Later, when she finds out she was not able to help her students transfer, she decides to recruit new students for the school. At this time, however, Lui suffers from a recurrence of an old tumor.
- Miriam Yeung as Lui Wai-hung (呂慧紅), headmistress of Yuen Tin Kindergarten, based on Lilian Lui
- Louis Koo as Tse Wing-tung (謝永東), Lui's husband who is a museum exhibition designer, based on Alvin Tse
- Winnie Ho as Ho Siu-suet (何小雪), a student of Yuen Tin Kindergarten
- Fu Shun-ying as Lo Ka-ka (盧嘉嘉), a student of Yuen Tin Kindergarten
- Keira Wang as Tam Mei-chu (譚美珠), a student of Yuen Tin Kindergarten
- Zaha Fathima as Kitty Fathima, a student of Yuen Tin Kindergarten
- Khan Nayab as Jennie Fathima, a student of Yuen Tin Kindergarten
- Richard Ng as Mr. Ho (何伯), Siu-suet's father
- Anna Ng as Auntie Han (嫻姨), Mei-chu's aunt
- Philip Keung as Lo Keung (盧強), Ka-ka's father
- Rain Lau as Mrs. Lo (強嫂), Ka-ka's mother
- Asnani Mena as Kitty and Jennie's mother
- Dhillion Harjit Singh as Kitty and Jennie's father
- Stanley Fung as Yuen Tin Village Office head
- Marc Ma as estate agent
- Fire Lee as Fung Tai-wai (馮大偉), Yuen Tin Village Rural Committee head
- Bonnie Wong as a janitor
- Alannah Ong as Yuen Tin Village Office head's wife
- Sammy Leung as Bowie Chin (錢寶宜), an old business friend of Lui whom is referred as the "Education King"
- Mimi Kung as Anita, teacher at King Kids International Kindergarten
- Ho Chun-ting as Martin Tong
- Ho Hing-fai as Martin's father
- Sin Kam as Martin's mother
- Chun Wong as Store Wong (士多黃)
- Fung So-po as Lui Wai-hung's mother
- Stephen Au as Lui Wai-hung's older brother
- Cindy Au as Lui Wai-hung's sister in-law
- Gregory Charles Rivers as Tony, museum manager
- Don Li as Kit (傑仔), museum staff
- Li Shing-cheong as a restaurant manager
Maggie Lee of Variety Film Reviews gave the film a positive review and states the film "has a humongous heart." Clarence Tsui of The Hollywood Reporter also gave the film a positive review praising director Adrian Kwan's sincerity and performances by leading cast members Miriam Yeung and Louis Koo, while also praising performances by the film's child actors and refers the film as "an optimism-fueled film reliant more on sentimental brushstrokes than sharp social critique in presenting and understanding the tragedy and joy on screen." Yvonne Teh of South China Morning Post gave the film a score of four stars out of five and praises the film's story as "dramatic gold".
Little Big Master opened on 19 March 2015 in Hong Kong where it topped the box office for two consecutive weeks, earning a total of HK$16.1 million (US$2.07 million) after two weekends plus early previews. After twenty days of release, the film grossed HK$32.3 million (US$4.17 million). By the fourth weekend, Little Big Master remained in second place where it grossed a total of HK$39.3 million (US$5.07 million). By the end of its theatrical run, the film grossed a total of HK$46.6 million (US$6.01 million), making it the highest grossing domestic film and fifth highest grossing film overall of 2015 in Hong Kong.
|35th Hong Kong Film Awards||Best Film||Little Big Master||Nominated|
|Best Director||Adrian Kwan||Nominated|
|Best Screenplay||Adrian Kwan, Hannah Chang||Nominated|
|Best Actress||Miriam Yeung||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Anna Ng||Nominated|
- "HK box office surges 15% in 2015 H1".
- "Retired teacher returns to work to save dying kindergarten".
- "How Miriam Yeung, Canto-pop star and actress, changed her attitude to work and life".
- "Film Review: 'Little Big Master' - Variety".
- "'Little Big Master' ('Ng Gor Siu Haai Dik Haau Cheung'): Hong Kong/Filmart Review".
- "Film review: Little Big Master - true story touches the heart".
- "Little Big Master - Film Business Asia".
- "Kingsman explodes at China box office".
- "Furious 7, Little Big Master top HK holiday".
- "Furious 7 shatters China box office records".