It might be all quiet on “western” front, but it promises to be very noisy at a venue on the “southern” bank of the river Thames on 19 February, with a critically-acclaimed war epic receiving 14 nominations for a British Academy Film Award (BAFTA) at the ceremony taking place that evening.
The new screen adaptation of the classic anti-war novel All Quiet on the Western Front, set in World War One, has been nominated in various categories, including best film, as well as director, original score, cinematography, casting, sound, and special visual effects; amongst others.
There is also strong support for The Banshees of Inisherin and Everything Everywhere All At Once which both have 10 nominations each. Cate Blanchett Viola Davis, Colin Farrell and Austin Butler are some of the names battling for the best acting awards; where 40% of those nominated come from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Some famous names, such as Steven Spielberg and James Cameron are noticeable by their absence amongst the best director nominees, for the 76th annual film awards night, which will take place at the Southbank Centre’s 2,700-seat Royal Festival Hall in London, and will be hosted by Richard E Grant.
Grim realities of war played out on screen
All Quiet on the Western Front is a non-English language film based on Erich Maria Remarque’s novel by the same name, and is set in the closing days of the first World War and is a ruthless look at the harsh realities of warfare through the eyes of an high-minded young German soldier, alongside the on-going armistice negotiations; leading up to a brutal finale.
It is the first film to receive 14 or more nominations since The King’s Speech in 2011. The last non-English language film to win the BAFTA for best film was Roma in 2019. The total of 14 “acknowledgements” for the movie means it ties with Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon from 2001, as the foreign-language film with the most nominations in BAFTA history.
Out on its own for most nominations
The leading nominations across all categories this year are: All Quiet On The Western Front (14); Everything Everywhere All At Once and The Banshees of Inisherin (10 each); Elvis (9); Tár (5) and Aftersun, The Batman, Top Gun: Maverick, The Whale and Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (4 each).
Tough competition for top film award
In the best film category All Quiet On The Western Front faces stiff competition from Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy The Banshees of Inisherin, which is about two feuding friends in 1920’s Ireland.
Also, the imprudent sci-fi adventure: Everything Everywhere All At Once, in which a Chinese-American immigrant played by the talented Michelle Yeoh, connects with parallel universe versions of herself (guess you have to like science fiction to fully appreciate the storyline) to prevent destruction of the multiverse.
There will also be strong challenges from Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic, and the psychological drama, Tár, by Todd Field, centring around a disgraced orchestra conductor.
High number of first time nominees
First time nominees will feature heavily at this year’s ceremony, as 14 (a bit of a theme with that number this year) of the 24 nominated in the performance categories, will be making their first appearance.
Absence of leading directors explained
The absence of Spielberg and Cameron at first glance might seem a little surprising, but they are believed to be, in part, due to the relatively new methods that BAFTA have begun to use to compile their nominations.
Rightly or wrongly, for the past two years juries have been recruited to determine a certain number of nominees in most categories, as part of a drive to ensure diversity. Some may argue that this denies genuine deserving individuals, but equally there are many who applaud the move.
In regards to the “Director” nominations, there was a requirement stipulated where by there had to be an even split of male and female nominees. Eight of each were long-listed earlier this month, but more than twice the number of men had been submitted as women, meaning that this time the two industry leaders missed out.
However, Spielberg did receive a nomination for best “original screenplay” for The Fabelmans.
Ladies chasing success
There will be a first ever female winner of best cinematographer if Mandy Walker is successful for her work on Elvis; and the ladies are guaranteed victory in the category for outstanding debut by a British writer, director, or producer, as all the nominees are women.
The full list of nominees for the 2023 BAFTA’s are as follows:
Best film: All Quiet on the Western Front; The Banshees of Inisherin; Elvis; Everything Everywhere All At Once; Tár
Outstanding British film: Aftersun; The Banshees of Inisherin; Brian And Charles; Empire of Light; Good Luck to You, Leo Grande; Living; Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical; See How They Run; The Swimmers; The Wonder
Leading actress: Cate Blanchett, Tár; Viola Davis, The Woman King; Danielle Deadwyler, Till Ana De Armas, Blonde; Emma Thompson in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande; Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once
Leading actor: Austin Butler, Elvis; Brendan Fraser, The Whale; Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin; Daryl McCormack, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande; Paul Mescal, Aftersun; Bill Nighy, Living
Supporting actress: Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever; Hong Chau, The Whale; Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin; Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All At Once; Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness; Carey Mulligan, She Said
Supporting actor: Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin; Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin; Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All At Once; Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse; Albrecht Schuch, All Quiet on the Western Front; Micheal Ward, Empire of Light
Director: All Quiet on the Western Front, Edward Berger; The Banshees of Inisherin, Martin McDonagh; Decision To Leave, Park Chan-wook; Everything Everywhere All At Once, Daniel Kwan/Daniel Scheinert; Tár, Todd Field; The Woman King, Gina Prince-Bythewood
Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer: Aftersun; Blue Jean; Electric Malady; Good Luck to You, Leo Grande; Rebellion
Film not in the English language: All Quiet on the Western Front; Argentina, 1985; Corsage; Decision To Leave; The Quiet Girl
Documentary: All That Breathes; All the Beauty and the Bloodshed; Fire of Love; Moonage Daydream; Navalny
Animated film: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio; Marcel the Shell with Shoes On; Puss in Boots: The Last Wish; Turning Red
Original screenplay: The Banshees of Inisherin; Everything Everywhere All At Once; The Fabelmans; Tár; Triangle of Sadness
Adapted screenplay: All Quiet on the Western Front; Living; The Quiet Girl; She Said; The Whale
Original score: All Quiet on the Western Front; Babylon; The Banshees of Inisherin; Everything Everywhere All At Once; Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Casting: Aftersun; All Quiet on the Western Front; Elvis; Everything Everywhere All At Once; Triangle of Sadness
Cinematography: All Quiet on the Western Front; The Batman; Elvis; Empire of Light; Top Gun: Maverick
Costume design: All Quiet on the Western Front; Amsterdam; Babylon; Elvis; Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris
Editing: All Quiet on the Western Front; The Banshees of Inisherin; Elvis; Everything Everywhere All At Once; Top Gun: Maverick
Production design: All Quiet on the Western Front; Babylon; The Batman; Elvis; Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
EE Bafta rising star award (voted for by the public): Aimee Lou Wood; Daryl McCormack; Emma Mackey; Naomi Ackie; Sheila Atim
Make-up and hair: All Quiet on the Western Front; The Batman; Elvis; Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical; The Whale
Sound: All Quiet on the Western Front; Avatar: The Way of Water; Elvis; Tár; Top Gun: Maverick
Special visual effects: All Quiet on the Western Front; Avatar: The Way of Water; The Batman; Everything Everywhere All At Once; Top Gun: Maverick
British short film: The Ballad Of Olive Morris; Bazigaga; Bus Girl; A Drifting Up; An Irish Goodbye
British short animation: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse; Middle Watch; Your Mountain is Waiting
Many of those who walk away with an award at this event will hope to go on to claim similar success at the Oscars on the other side of the Atlantic, when that prestigious ceremony takes place on 12 March.