Why All Quiet on the Western Front is a hit with Oscar voters but a head-scratcher for pundits. The German film based on Erich Maria Remarque’s novel has already received nine nominations, including best picture.
The book centers on Paul Baumer, a sensitive teenage soldier who joins the army at the urging of his teacher Kantorek. He soon realizes that war isn’t about nationalism and patriotism. It’s about dehumanization and physical terror.
It’s a war movie
All Quiet on the Western Front is one of the more brazen Best Picture nominees, as it’s a foreign-language film that’s heavily slaughter-obsessed. It’s a bold move, especially when you consider how foreign-language films have gotten a leg up in the past five years.
The BAFTA-winning 2022 German film adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 classic focuses on Paul Baumer (Felix Kammerer), a 17-year-old new recruit who enlists in the German army. He’s naive and jubilant during his training in Paris, but once he joins the battlefield, his optimism is shattered.
In addition to a compelling storyline, All Quiet on the Western Front features some of the most stunning cinematography in recent memory. Its production design, sound, and acting are also top-notch. The result is a tense and emotionally impactful story that lingers long after the credits roll. Despite its flaws, All Quiet on the Western Front is an Oscar-worthy movie that’s worth seeing.
It’s a German movie
All Quiet on the Western Front, a German-language adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 best-selling novel Im Westen nichts Neues (All Quiet on the Western Front), has put the proverbial cat among the pigeons this awards season. It won seven of its 14 nominations at the Baftas, the UK’s equivalent to the Oscars, and is up for nine awards at the Academy Awards.
The movie begins in a quiet forest, with a fox feeding her young. But then a rumble tells us there’s a storm on the way.
Paul Baumer, an idealistic, naive soldier, is taken under the wing of a friendly, older soldier who helps him navigate his new life in the trenches. He grows in confidence, but loses his innocence.
All Quiet on the Western Front is an adolescent war drama that is harrowing, but also beautiful. It’s a stunning German-language film, which reclaims the timeless anti-war message of Remarque and Lewis Milestone’s 1930 American-German-French Hollywood adaptation; but it also uses violence in a manner that feels rather regressive.
It’s a historical drama
The Oscar race has always been tough to predict, but Netflix’s World War I epic All Quiet on the Western Front has suddenly found itself a hit with AMPAS voters but a bit of a letdown. The film, based on the 1929 bestselling novel All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, tells the story of Paul Baumer, a 17-year-old German soldier who joins the army after listening to stirring patriotic speeches.
When he enters the trenches, his idealist zeal is quickly dispelled by the horror of war. It’s a grim depiction of the broader disillusionment that occurred during the First World War, as Remarque uses his character Paul Baumer’s eyewitness perspective to highlight the dehumanizing effects of war on those who fight it.
The 1930 adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front won two Academy Awards, but it was banned in Germany because it was perceived as pacifist propaganda. Its reputation helped propel Hitler to power, and the book continues to evoke polarized reactions in the years since.
It’s a romance
Adapted from the 1929 novel by Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front follows a young soldier named Paul Baumer as he recounts his experiences in World War I. He and his friends enlist out of a sense of patriotism, but their lives soon become distorted by the realities of war.
As a result, they lose their initial hope of becoming heroes. Instead, they’re transformed into shell-shocked soldiers who can’t return to their former lives.
All Quiet on the Western Front is a classic antiwar novel that reflects the horrors of war and its lasting impact on the minds and bodies of the people who serve in it. It’s a timeless piece of literature that generations of antiwar activists and pacifists have embraced.