'Four Minutes' wins Lola best film award

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BERLIN -- Chris Kraus' "Four Minutes" was the surprise winner of the Lola for best film at the 2007 German Film Awards, held Friday night in Berlin.

The story of an elderly piano teacher who trains a young convict at a women's penitentiary, "Four Minutes" beat out Tom Tykwer's opulent epic "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" for the top prize.

Veteran actress Monica Bleibtreu won the Lola for her tour-de-force performance as the piano teacher in "Four Minutes." Bleibtreu accepted the prize on her 63rd birthday and to a standing ovation from the crowd of German film professionals.

The other big surprise Friday night was "Grave Decisions."

A small, low-budget comedy shot in an almost-incomprehensible Bavarian dialect, "Grave Decisions" won four Lolas, including best director for first-timer Marcus H. Rosenmueller and the runner-up Silver Lola for best film.

"Perfume" also won a Silver Lola, but it was in the technical categories where Tykwer's tale of a scent-obsessed serial killer sniffed at the competition.

"Perfume" swept the technical awards, taking Lolas for Frank Griebe's cinematography, Alexander Brenner's editing, Pierre-Yves Gayraud's costume design and Uli Hanisch's sets as well as the golden statuette for best sound design.

Josef Bierbichler, a heavyweight of the German theater scene, won the best actor Lola for his caustic performance as an angry, beaten-down man in Hans Steinbichler's "Winter Journey."

In the supporting categories, newcomer Hannah Herzsprung, won the best supporting actress Lola for her role in Alain Gsponer's drama "Life Actually," while Devid Striesow got the supporting actor nod for his role in Stefan Ruzowitzky's "The Counterfeiters."

Michael Glawogger's "Workingman's Death," which explores the extremes of manual labor around the world, won the documentary prize.

The Lola for best children's film went to Detlev Buck's "Hands Off Mississippi," an adaptation of the novel by Cornelia Link ("Inkheart").

The Lolas, voted on by the members of the German Film Academy, are the country's most prestigious film awards.

A complete list of Lola winners follows:


Best Film - Lola In Gold
"Four Minutes" by Chris Kraus

Best Film - Lola in Silver
"Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" by Tom Tykwer
And
"Grave Decisions" by Marcus H. Rosenmueller

Best Children's Film
"Hands Off Mississippi" by Detlev Buck

Best Documentary Director
"Workingman's Death" by Michael Glawogger

Best Actress
Monica Bleibtreu ("Four Minutes")

Best Actor
Josef Bierbichler ("Winter Journey")

Best Supporting Actress
Hannah Herzsprung ("Life Actually")

Best Supporting Actor
Devid Striesow ("The Counterfeiters")

Best Director
Marcus H. Rosenmueller ("Grave Decisions")

Best Screenplay
Christian Lerch, Marcus H. Rosenmueller ("Grave
Decisions")

Best Cinematography
Frank Griebe ("Perfume -- The Story of a Murderer")

Best Editing
Alexander Brenner ("Perfume -- The Story of a
Murderer")

Best Set Design
Uli Hanisch ("Perfume -- The Story of a Murderer")

Best Costume Design
Pierre-Yves Gayraud ("Perfume -- The Story of a
Murderer")

Best Score:
Gerd Baumann ("Grave Decisions")

Best Sound Design:
Stefan Busch, Dirk Jacob, Michael Kranz, Frank Kruse,
Matthias Lempert, Hanse Warns, Roland Winke ("Perfume
-- The Story of a Murderer")
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