‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ wins seven BAFTAs in 2023, including best picture

Sarah Joseph
Sarah Joseph
7 Min Read
All Quiet On The Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front

The antiwar German film “All Quiet on the Western Front” won seven awards, including best picture, at the British Academy Film Awards on Sunday, bolstering the somber drama’s momentum as awards season approaches its climax at the Oscars next month.

The Irish tragicomedy “The Banshees of Inisherin” and the rock biopic “Elvis” each won four awards. “All Quiet,” a visceral depiction of life and death in the trenches during World War I, earned Edward Berger the best director award. It also won awards for best adapted screenplay, cinematography, best score, best sound, and best film not in English.

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Austin Butler won best actor for his performance in “Elvis.” The flamboyant musical by Baz Lurhmann also won awards for casting, costume design, and hair and makeup. Cate Blanchett was named best actress for orchestral drama “Tár.

Why remake a 92-year-old Oscar winner? The director of ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ explains Martin McDonagh‘s “Banshees,” a bleakly comic story about a sour friendship, was named best British film.

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“What is the best award?” McDonagh joked about the film, which was shot in Ireland with a predominantly Irish cast and crew. It is funded by the British government, and McDonagh was born in the United Kingdom to Irish parents.

“Banshees” also won for McDonagh’s original screenplay, as well as best supporting actress Kerry Condon and best supporting actor Barry Keoghan. The awards, officially known as the EE BAFTA Film Awards, are Britain’s equivalent of Hollywood’s Academy Awards and will be closely watched for hints as to who will win at the Oscars on March 12.

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The Academy Award front-runner, “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once,” was the night’s big loser, winning only one of its ten BAFTA nominations, for editing.

The ceremony at London’s Royal Festival Hall was hosted by actor Richard E. Grant, who was suave and self-deprecating, with help from TV presenter Alison Hammond. The U.K.’s film academy lauded its efforts to become more diverse, but said there was still work to be done.

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Checking the facts on the ‘Elvis’ film: Did he really fire Colonel Tom Parker onstage in Las Vegas? Grant made a joke about the infamous Oscars brawl between Will Smith and Chris Rock in his opening monologue. “Nobody gets slapped tonight on my watch,” he said. “With the exception of the back.”

Colin Farrell, Ana de Armas, Eddie Redmayne, Brian Cox, Florence Pugh, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Cynthia Erivo, Julianne Moore, and Lily James were among the guests and presenters who walked the red carpet on the south bank of the River Thames.

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The throne’s heir The audience included Prince William, president of the British Film and Television Academy, and his wife, Kate. William wore a tuxedo with a black velvet jacket, while Kate wore a floor-length Alexander McQueen gown, which she also wore to the BAFTAs in 2019.

Helen Mirren paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, William’s grandmother, who died in September. Mirren, who played the late Queen in “The Queen” and “The Audience,” called Elizabeth “the nation’s leading lady.”

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In 2020, the British Film Academy made changes to increase the awards’ diversity, as no women were nominated for best director for the seventh year in a row, and all 20 nominees in the lead and supporting performer categories were white.

This year, 11 female directors were nominated for awards in all categories, including documentary and animated films. Only one of the main best-director nominees, Gina Prince-Bythewood for “The Woman King,” was a woman.

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‘The Woman King,’ a true-life epic, embodies the struggle in Viola Davis and her co-stars. BAFTA chair Krishnendu Majumdar described the academy’s soul-searching as “necessary and humbling.” He stated that the “crucial work of leveling the playing field” would be continued.

Ariana DeBose, who starred in “West Side Story,” opened the show with “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves,” which included a rap shoutout to some of the nominated women, including Michelle Yeoh, Cate Blanchett, and Viola Davis.

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Blanchett stated that it had been “An exceptional year for female performers. To be counted among them is truly unique.” Irish actors had a strong year at the BAFTAs, with Deryl McCormack nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star award — which he lost to Emma Mackey — and Condon, Keoghan, Farrell, and Brendan Gleeson all receiving acting nominations for “Banshees.”

The event was dubbed “the Irish BAFTAs” by McCormack. “It’s a small country, but the talent that comes out of it is incredible,” he said. Sandy Powell, a three-time Oscar winner, became the first costume designer to receive the BAFTA fellowship.

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The harsh world outside showbiz intruded on the awards when Bulgarian journalist Christo Grozev, who works for the investigative website Bellingcat, said he was no longer allowed to attend due to a threat to public security.

He appears in “Navalny,” a documentary about imprisoned Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny that won the BAFTA for best documentary. Odessa Rae, the producer of “Navalny,” dedicated the award to Grozev, who she described as “our Bulgarian nerd with a laptop who couldn’t be with us tonight because his life is under threat by the Russian government and Vladimir Putin.”

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Jamie Lee Curtis, a supporting actress nominee for “Everything, Everything,” said the opportunity to celebrate cinema provided by awards season is more important than who wins.

“It’s a moment of celebration in the midst of everything,” Curtis said on the red carpet to The Associated Press. “It’s tough out there. Everywhere. At the same time. Every time.

Hi, fellow readers! So glad you found my little writing nook on the internet. I am a freelance writer, occasionally moonlighting as a digital marketer as well. I love to read, mostly focusing on high-fantasy and thrillers. Here, on Geekybar, I share my thoughts and views on breaking and recent news form all around the world. Oh, and I LOVE covering all the celeb gossips so stick around for some really interesting stuff!
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