Kraus tops, but 'Perfume' wins tally

Chris Kraus prison drama “Four Minutes,” the story of an elderly piano teacher who trains a talented but violent young convict at a women’s penitentiary, took the top Lola at the 57th German Film Awards Friday, beating favorite “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer,” which won six prizes, including a runner-up Silver Lola for best picture.

While “Perfume” took the most awards of the evening, no film dominated the show, with the German Film Academy spreading the honors more evenly among the nominees than in past years.

Produced by sibling partners Alexandra and Meike Kordes, “Four Minutes” has won massive critical praise here, especially for thesps Monica Bleibtreu, who won the best actress Lola, and Hannah Herzsprung, who won supporting actress but for another film, “Das wahre leben” (The Real Life).

Tying with “Perfume” for the pic Silver Lola was Marcus H. Rosenmueller’s hit Bavarian comedy “Wer frueher stirbt ist laenger tot” (Grave Decisions), which additionally won Rosenmueller director kudos as well as screenplay along with co-writer Christian Lerch. Pic also took the music prize for composer Gerd Baumann.

While “Perfume” director Tom Tykwer went home empty-handed, the film won plenty of prizes, including cinematography (Frank Griebe) and editing (Alexander Berner). “Perfume” became the most successful local film of 2006, grossing some $53 million to date.

Josef Bierbichler took actor kudos for his role in Hans Steinbichler’s “Winter Journey,” about a bankrupt businessman who sets off on a long voyage to recover money lost in an investment sham but ends up finding himself. Devid Striesow won supporting actor for Berlinale screener “The Counterfeiters,” Stefan Ruzowitzky’s World War II tale of a Nazi scheme to counterfeit Allied currency using concentration camp prisoners.

The German Film Academy presented 18 prizes, including a lifetime achievement award, which this year went to actor Armin Mueller-Stahl, and a total of E2.85 million ($3.9 million) in prize money.

Hosted by filmmaker funnyman Michael Herbig, the Lola gala was broadcast for the first time by pubcaster ZDF.

57TH GERMAN FILM AWARDS WINNERS

Film
“Four Minutes,” Gold Lola
“Grave Decisions” Silver
“Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” Silver

Director
Marcus H. Rosenmueller, “Grave Decisions”

Actress
Monica Bleibtreu, “Four Minutes”

Actor
Josef Bierbichler, “Winter Journey”

Supporting Actress
Hannah Herzsprung, “Das wahre leben”

Supporting Actor
Devid Striesow, “The Counterfeiters”

Documentary Film
“Workingman’s Death”

Children’s Film
“Haende weg von Mississippi”

Cinematography
Frank Griebe, “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer”

Editing
Alexander Berner, “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer”

Production Design
Uli Hanisch, “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer”

Costumes
Pierre-Yves Gayraud, “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer”

Music
Gert Baumann, “Grave Decisions”

Sound
Stefan Busch, Dirk Jacob, Michael Kranz, Frank Kruse, Matthias Lempert, Hanse Warns, Roland Winke, “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer”

Script
Christian Lerch, Marcus H. Rosenmueller, “Grave Decisions”

Lifetime Achievement
Armin Mueller-Stahl

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