Emerging Victorious: 'All Quiet on the Western Front' Dominates the 2023 BAFTAs

The Netflix motion picture garnered seven wins, including one for best film in this year’s BAFTA Awards. 

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards—popularly known as the BAFTAs—took place in London last February 20. Prominent figures within the film industry attended the distinguished ceremony to witness the awarding of this year’s winners. The victor that dominated the show was none other than the Netflix movie All Quiet on the Western Front, which won best film, adapted screenplay, film not in the English language, director for Edward Berger, cinematography, sound, and original score. 

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The Story of a War

The German-language movie is a screen adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s 1928 novel by the same name. Set in the tumultuous backdrop of World War I, the film chronicles the struggles of a young German soldier named Paul Bäumer (played by Austrian actor Felix Kammerer) in the Western Front. While Paul and his classmates are eager to enlist in the army and serve their country, they soon find themselves grappling with the horrors of war. 

During his acceptance speech for best film not in the English language, director Edward Berger states that the filmmakers “grew up with a sense of responsibility towards telling the story” and were grateful for the public’s overwhelming support of their work. He also paid tribute to those fighting in Ukraine, and credited his daughter Matilda for giving him the encouragement to create a film about Remarque’s book after she read it at school. 

Many critics and cinephiles have called the film a true “anti-war” piece, one that doesn’t glorify the violence of war and is unafraid of showing how grim and bleak a battlefield can be. This juxtaposes the recruitment messages found in war propaganda during the time, which drew in young men with the promise of honor and glory.

A Potential Oscars Victor

Even before All Quiet on the Western Front swept the BAFTAs, the film was already among the frontrunners to win best picture in next month’s Oscars. In fact, it has a total of nine nominations for the prestigious U.S. award show. The recent endorsement from this year’s BAFTAs will certainly maintain the buzz surrounding the film until the next awards ceremony. 

While the WWI movie swept the board, another contender came at close second for most wins in the BAFTAs. The Banshees of Inisherin took home a total of four BAFTA awards, which includes the award for Best British Film. 

All Quiet on the Western Front and Banshees of Insherin are also joined by other notable films in the nominations for Best Picture in this year’s Oscars, including Everything Everywhere All at Once and Tár. With so many highly-lauded films in both the BAFTAs and Oscars’ rosters, this awards season is proving to be a very exciting one. 

Banner Photo via Netflix.

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