Evaluating How All Quiet on the Western Front Influenced Later War Films


At the British Academy Film Awards on Sunday, the anti-German movie “All Quiet on the Western Front” was lauded with seven awards, which included Best Picture, further boosting its prospects as the season culminates at the Oscars next month. Equally impressive was the Irish tragicomedy “The Banshees of Inisheron” and the rock biopic “Elvis”, garnering four prizes apiece. For “All Quiet”, Edd Berger received the Best Director award alongside other accolades like Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Best Score, Best Sound and Best Film Not in English. Austin Butler was also presented an unexpected prize.

At the Tony Awards ceremony, Baz Lurhmann’s flamboyant musical “Elvis” won trophies for Casting, Costume Design, and Hair and Makeup. The Best Actress Prize was awarded to Cate Blanchett for the Orchestral Drama “Tár.” Martin McDonagh’s “Banshees,” the bleakly comic story of a friendship gone sour, won for Best British Film. Upon being notified of this award, McDonagh jokingly inquired, “Best what ad?” Despite being filmed in Ireland with an Irish cast and crew and receiving British funding, McDonagh is a native of Britain and a child of Irish parents.

The EE BAFTA Film Ads, Britain’s equivalent to Hollywood’s Academy Awards, were awarded for Best Supporting Actor. The front-runner for the Academy Awards, ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’, was surprisingly low, with only one prize from its BAFTA nominations for editing. Hosted by the dashingly self-deprecating Richard E. Grant and Alison Hammond, The U.K’s Movie Academy held their ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in London. The awards are expected to provide a glimpse into possible Oscar winners come March th this year.

Despite its efforts to be more inclusive, there is still more to be done. In his opening monologue, host Stephen Grant humorously addressed the well-known altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock that took place at the preceding Oscar ceremony: “Under my watch, no one will be slapped tonight…with the exception of a congratulatory pat on the back, of course.” The illustrious list of red carpet guests and presenters in attendance included Colin Farrell, Ana de Armas, Eddie Redmayne, Brian ***, Florence Pugh, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Cynthia Erivo, Julianne Moore, and Lily James. Prince William, who presides over Britain’s film and television academy, was also present.

Accompanying his wife, Kate, William was dressed in a tuxedo with a black velvet jacket and Kate wore an exquisite Alexander McQueen dress that she had also been adorned in at the BAFTAs. Helen Mirren paid honor to William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away in September. Appreciatively known for her on-screen depiction of The Queen, as well as her performance in ‘The Audience’, Mirren called Elizabeth “the nation’s leading lady”. Looking to add diversity among their advertisement in , Britain’s Film Academy implemented changes as none of the women were nominated as Best Director for the seventh consecutive year, and all nominees for lead roles were white.

Eleven women directors were up for consideration in advertisements across all categories, including documentaries and animated films. However, only one of the prominent best-director nominees was female: Gina Prince-Bythewood for her work on “The Woman King”. Chair of BAFTA, Krishnendu Majumdar, stated that the academy’s reflection had been a necessary and humbling process, before adding that the ‘vital work’ to create an even playing field would remain ongoing. To open the show, Ariana DeBose performed “Sisters Are Doing it for Themselves”, with an additional rap tribute to some nominated women such as Michelle Yeoh, Cate Blanchett, and more.

In Summary

The BAFTAs this year were a wonderful demonstration of unity, diversity, and respect. The aim of the BAFTAs is to bring attention to the amazing talent that Britain has to offer in both the film industry and beyond. The BAFTAs brought attention to not only William, Kate, Helen Mirren, but also the lack of diversity among individuals nominated for leading roles in films. With this being said, the industry as a whole should make more of an effort to recognize and celebrate individuals from all different walks of life. Only then can we hope to build a more diverse and unified world.


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