Wide-open race for Lolas

8 noms for 'Perfume,' 'Minutes'

"Perfume: The Story of a Murderer," Tom Tykwer's opulent story of a scent-obsessed serial killer, and Chris Kraus' low-budget drama "Four Minutes" received a leading eight nominations apiece for the Lolas, which honor the best in German films.

Each earned noms Friday in the best picture and best director categories.

Stefan Ruzowitzky's "The Counterfeiters," the true story of concentration camp inmates who were forced to forge money to help finance the Nazi war machine, collected seven noms. It missed out in the best director category but picked up a nom for Karl Markovics' star-making turn as a Jewish con man and expert forger caught between his conscience and his instinct for survival.

The best actor category will see Markovics go up against two established German actors at the top of their games — Josef Bierbichler, for his caustic performance in Hans Steinbichler's "Winter Journey," and Juergen Vogel, nominated for "The Free Will," in which he plays a serial rapist trying to resist his urges.

Hannah Herzsprung proved she has successfully made the jump from TV to film with two Lola nominations — a best acting nom for her feature debut in "Four Minutes" and a best supporting mention for her performance in "Life Actually." In the best actress category, she will face off with her "Minutes" co-star Monica Bleibtreu.

There is no award for newcomer of the year, but if there were, it would likely go to first-time director Marcus H. Rosenmueller. His debut, the black comedy "Grave Decisions," received five nominations, including mentions for best picture and best director, while his follow-up film, the bobsled comedy "Heavyweights," snagged a nom for best costume design.

One surprise was "Emma's Bliss," a melancholy romantic comedy from Sven Taddicken about a man dying of cancer who gets one last shot at love. It didn't make many critics' lists, but the German Film Academy gave it four noms, including one for best picture and a best actress mention for newcomer Joerdis Triebel.

Dani Levy's comedy "Mein Fuehrer — The Truly Truest Truth About Adolf Hitler" may have made headlines in Germany and around the world for its subject matter, but the German academy all but snubbed it. "Mein Fuehrer" received only one Lola nom, a best supporting actor mention for Sylvester Groth, who plays Joseph Goebbels in the film.

For the first time, the German Film Prize nominations were announced live on German television, part of the academy's attempt to broaden the annual awards' appeal. The winners will be announced May 4 at a gala ceremony in Berlin.

A complete list of Lola nominees can be found at www.holly woodreporter.com.