'Lives' thrives at German nods

Critics' fave grabs 4 awards; but 'Requiem' best pic

Germany's association of film critics have named Hans-Christian Schmid's exorcism drama "Requiem" as the best German film of the past year but it was the Oscar-nominated "The Lives Of Others" that cleaned up, with a total of four critics awards.

"Requiem" star Sandra Huller picked up the best actress award for her harrowing portrayal of a young woman perhaps possessed by demons.
Huller, who stars in Forum entry "Madonnas," won the Berlinale Silver Bear last year for her "Requiem" performance.

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck added to his trophy-case full of awards for his debut, "The Lives of Others," winning the Best First Film prize. Sony Pictures Classics just bowed the Stasi drama in the U.S., where it earned $223,000 on its opening weekend, the best-ever domestic bow for a German-language title.

"The Lives of Others" won three more critics awards. Star Ulrich Muhe took the best actor nod for his ice-cold performance as a Stasi surveillance specialist who begins to question his profession; best editing went to the film's Patricia Rommel and best cinematography to "Lives" cameraman Hagen Bogdanski.

German critics gave the best screenplay prize to Wolfgang Kohlhaase for his script to Andreas Dresen's "Summer in Berlin." The best documentary was a tie between Viet Helmer's Hollywood casting doc "Behind the Couch" and Sonke Wortmann's behind the scenes look at the World Cup in "Germany. A Summer Fairytale."
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