Polley pic walks 'Away' with top Genie awards

'Promises' matches total via tech nods

Sarah Polley's "Away From Her" and David Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises" were the big winners with seven trophies each as Canada's top film honors, the Genies, were handed out Monday night in Toronto.

Polley's Alzheimer's drama, which earned Julie Christie an Oscar nomination for best actress, took Genies for best Canadian film and best director.

"Away From Her" also dominated the acting categories, as Gordon Pinsent won for best actor, Christie earned the best actress crown and Kristen Thomson won for supporting actress.

Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises," a portrait of the Russian mafia in London, generated trophies for best original screenplay for British playwright Steven Knight and a supporting actor honor for German actor Armin Mueller-Stahl.

A number of longtime Cronenberg collaborators also earned craft awards, as Peter Suschitzky went home with hardware for best cinematography, Ronald Sanders won for editing and Howard Shore grabbed the trophy for original score.

Roger Spottiswoode's Rwandan biopic "Shake Hands With the Devil," which went into the Genies with 12 nominations, only took home hardware for best original song.

Also overlooked at the Genies this year was Canadian director Jason Reitman's "Juno," which made Oscar headlines and took the boxoffice by storm but was excluded from consideration because of a lack of Canadian financing.

A complete list of Genie award winners is available at THR.com.