All Quiet On The Western Front picks up 4 Oscars
The recent adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 anti-war novel All Quiet On The Western Front (Im Westen Nichts Neues) has taken home four Oscars at the 2023 Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday evening.
All Quiet On The Western Front sweeps Oscars
The Netflix-produced All Quiet On The Western Front has won four out of the nine Oscars for which the picture was nominated.
Based on the historic novel, which is one of Germany's best-known books and a set text for many schoolchildren, the film won awards for Best International Feature Film, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography and Best Production Design.
The picture is the first German-language film to win in the International Feature Film category since Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen) took home the award in 2007.
Felix Kammerer wins with his debut role
Accepting the awards, Swiss director Edward Berger thanked Felix Kammerer for his role as Paul Bäumer, the 17-year-old German soldier at the heart of the story. All Quiet On The Western Front was Kammerer’s cinematic debut. “This was your first movie and you carried us on your shoulders as if it was nothing,” Berger said of Kammerer in his acceptance speech.
Since its release in 2022, the adaptation has been a hit among international critics, but more of a flop in German cinematic circles. “No book is so good that you can’t turn it into a terrible film,” wrote Süddeutsche Zeitung critic Hubert Wetzel back in October, claiming Berger’s adaptation did not do justice to the 1920s literary classic.
Criticisms aside, on the eve of the ceremony, Germany’s culture minister Claudia Roth spoke to broadcaster Deutsche Welle: “The fact that the film has been watched so many times is a sign of its gruesome relevance,” Roth said, pointing out that the film had struck an international chord since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2022. “War has come so close to us this year,” added Roth.
Thumb image credit: Alex Millauer / Shutterstock.com
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