“All Quiet on the Western Front” certainly didn’t go quietly into the 2023 Oscar nominations, announced Tuesday morning, January 24. The German drama about the horrors of trench warfare during World War I received nine nominations including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. It’s by far the most nominated film in a language other than English. Does that mean it’s a shoo-in to win Best International Feature?
Maybe, but maybe not. Based on the early predictions of thousands of Gold Derby users it’s the runaway favorite. As of this writing our Experts, Editors, Top 24 Users, and All-Star Top 24 are unanimous that the film will win the international title. That would make it the fourth film from Germany to take the prize and the first since “The Lives of Others” (2006), which was 16 years ago. But so far “All Quiet” hasn’t shown signs of dominance on the awards campaign trail.
There was a big upset at the Golden Globes, with “Argentina, 1985” prevailing over “All Quiet.” Now “Argentina” is nominated for the Oscar alongside “All Quiet,” positioning it for another surprise. Then India’s international crossover hit “RRR” beat “All Quiet” at the Critics Choice Awards, though India chose not to submit “RRR” as its entry for Best International Feature, so it wasn’t even eligible to be considered for an Oscar in that category.
Granted, “All Quiet” wasn’t nearly as successful in the Globe and Critics Choice nominations as it was in the Oscar nominations, so those results may not translate here. Also, the Globe and Critics Choice Awards are given by members of the media and not by industry peers as the Oscars are, so we’re looking at entirely different voting bodies. Still, those early results show that “All Quiet” isn’t an indomitable juggernaut.
And being nominated for more awards outside of Best International Feature is no guarantee of winning. Consider “Amelie” (2001) which had five Oscar noms but lost the international prize (formerly known as Best Foreign Language Film) to “No Man’s Land” which had no other noms. “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006) had six nominations and won three, but not Best Foreign Film; that went to the aforementioned “Lives of Others” on its only nomination. “Biutiful” (2010) had an additional bid for lead actor Javier Bardem, but lost the international award to “In a Better World.”
Those noteworthy losing films, however, weren’t nominated for Best Picture. In the 21st century, whenever an international title has been a Best Picture nominee, it has claimed Best International Feature: “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000), “Amour” (2012), “Roma” (2018), “Parasite” (2019), and “Drive My Car” (2021). So maybe that really does make “All Quiet” a lock for the win. But always be wary of having the rug pulled out from under you in this category. It has happened before and will probably happen again.
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