Four Czechs competing for Oscar
Four Czech filmmakers will compete for an Oscar at the upcoming 95th Academy Awards. They have been shortlisted for Netflix’s World War I drama All Quiet on the Western Front. The first-ever German-language adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s famous novel won nine Oscar nominations, including top categories best picture and best international feature.
Edward Berger’s powerful adaptation of Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, first published in Germany in 1929, premiered at the International Film festival in Toronto last September and was launched internationally on the Netflix streaming platform a month later.
The drama, following the story of an ordinary German front line soldier in the trenches, evolves mainly in France. However, most of the filming actually took place in various locations in and outside of Prague.
The shooting took place between March and May 2021 and also involved a large number of Czechs. Four of them have now been nominated for an Oscar, including sound artist Viktor Prášil, who told Czech Radio that he never imagined the film would be such a success:
“At the same time, even on the set, I could already feel that something special was being created. My job on the film was to record the contact sound on the set, capturing the dialogues and the madness of soldiers in trenches.”
Czech trick designers Viktor Müller and Kamil Jafar, along with their German colleagues Frank Petzold and Markus Frank, received a nomination in the Best Visual Effects category.
The fourth Czech, Linda Eisenhamerová was nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling together with Heike Merker:
“I have to say it was probably one of the most challenging jobs I’ve ever had. Just the fact that we were stuck for months literally knee-deep in water and mud in the trenches.”
Upon its premiere in Toronto last year, All Quiet on the Western Front received rave reviews, with critics praising its realistic portrayal of the horrors of war and its faithfulness to the novel’s anti-war themes.
The film has since collected a number of awards, including the best European Film Award for Make-up & Hair and for Special Effects.
Last week, it also received 14 nominations for the British Academy Film Awards, tying the all-time record for a non-English language film with Aung Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon more than 20 years ago.
Edward Berger’s Netflix drama is not the only film adaptation of the famous German novel. It was first made into a movie in 1930 in the US, winning two Oscars. A television version followed in 1979.
The Oscar winners will be announced by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at a gala ceremony on March 13.