The fantasy epic may have divided audiences but the German Film Academy was united its support of the $100 million production from directors Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski siblings, nominating the film in nine categories, including Best Film, for the 2013 German Film Awards, also called the Lolas.
, which features an all-star cast including Tom Hanks, Halle Barry, Hugh Grant and Hugo Weaving, is the big-budget outlier among the German Film Award nominees, otherwise made up of low-budget art house productions.
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The David to the ‘ Goliath is , the black-and-white film debut of first-time director Jan-Ole Gerster, which received eight Lola nominations, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor for star Tom Schilling. An ironic, at times both funny and tragic look at a young man who drops out of university to wander the streets of Berlin, was the sleeper hit of 2012 in Germany, earning more than $2 million at the box office.
“Oh Boy and Cloud Atlas isn’t David vs. Goliath it’s David and Goliath,” argued German Film Academy member Alfred Holighaus, comparing Gerster’s no-budget debut to the Tykwer/Wachowskis epic. “Of course the two films are trying to do very different things but I think is perfectly justified for them both ‘David’ and ‘Goliath’ to be among the nominees. And we know from the bible that David can beat Goliath”.
Other art house standouts competing for the Lola for Best Film include Margarethe von Trotta‘s literary adaptation from director Julian Roman Polsler, the semi-autobiographic () from Oskar Roehler () and , the WWII drama from Australian director Cate Shortland, which was Australia’s entry for this year’s foreign language Oscar.
Von Trotta, Gerster and the trio of Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowskis will duel it out in the Best Director category at this year’s Lolas.
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That the American Wachowskis received a Lola nomination is a rarity and could prove controversial.
The German Film Awards are expressly intended to celebrate German cinema and both the nominations and the prizes come with substantial cash bursaries, paid for by the German culture ministry. qualified as a German film because its lead producer was Berlin-based X Filme and German Tom Tykwer was a co-director.
Last year, Roland Emmerich‘s Shakespeare thriller , which was co-produced and shot in Germany, won six Lolas, mainly in technical categories, setting off a firestorm of criticism from many in the local industry here who objected to the government-backed prize money going to a Hollywood-style, English-language film. , because it was shot in German, qualified despite director Shortland’s Australian citizenship.
Tom Schilling of is the stand out favorite among Lola Best Actor nominees, which also include Sabin Tambrea for the period drama and Edin Hasanovic for the prison drama . The Best Actress race is more interesting, featuring as it does three generations of stand-out female performers: Barbara Sukowa for , Martina Gedeck for and young Austrian actress Birgit Minichmayr, nominated for her role in Matthias Glasner‘s .
The one notable snub was the drama from acclaimed German director Hans-Christian Schmid, which received just one Lola nomination — in the Best Supporting Actor category for Ernst Stotzner.
The winners of this year’s German Film Awards will be announced in Berlin April 26.
Additional reporting from Karsten Kastelan in Berlin.