Meg Ryan accepts Berlin plaudits

Britney Spears receives enthusiastic welcome

BERLIN — Meg Ryan used the occasion of winning the 2008 Bambi Award for lifetime achievement to thank Germany for turning out in huge numbers to support Barack Obama for a speech he gave in Berlin in July.

Ryan was joined in Germany by Keanu Reeves, who was honored as best international actor at the Bambies — Germany’s answer to the Emmy and its oldest media award, celebrating its 60th anniversary.

Spears, who won a prize for “international pop” was in the spotlight at the gala aired on pubcaster ARD on Thursday for her first solo live perf since her widely derided “Gimme More” comeback attempt at the MTV Video Music Awards last year.

“I was moved to see how many of you came to support Barack Obama in Berlin — thank you so much,” said Ryan of Obama’s Berlin crowd of 200,000. The jury called Ryan the “queen of the romantic comedy,” adding she “made film history” with her faked orgasm in a crowded New York deli in “When Harry met Sally.”

It was Spears, though, who attracted the attention. Wearing a black top hat, black hot paints and a semi-transparent top, a sprightly Spears basked in the warm applause from the aud of 1,200 and got mostly favorable reviews for an energetic performance of her single “Womanizer.”

She was honored by the Bambi jury for a “stunning comeback” — a return to the top of the charts and for overcoming the turmoil in her private life.

“The pop princess is back on her throne, better than ever before,” the jury said. “The one-time teen idol has become a mature young woman who overcame the greatest crisis of her own life with flying colors.” And it praised “her millions of fans, who remained loyal to the star even in her darkest hours.”

After listening to the on-stage laudation from fashion czar Karl Lagerfeld — “You really deserve it. I admire you not only for your art but for your energy, for your coming back not only as a phoenix but as a bird of paradise ” — Spears smiled as she took the statue of the golden deer but did not say anything beyond: “Thank you Germany so much.”

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