Does Netflix win Best Picture for All Quiet on the Western Front?

Of all the titles Netflix has put forward in the past in hopes of winning a Best Picture Oscar – an award Apple was the first to win, becoming the first streamer ever to win that award code in 2022 – it really feels like Netflix is ​​closer than ever this year No news from the Western Front.

We’ll know for sure in a few days, with the 95th Academy Awards ceremony scheduled for March 12. the conflict in all its nightmarish, wanton brutality – bringing the viewer face to face with the incredibly stupid decisions of the war that led to catastrophic loss of life – will be well-deserved recognition for a unique artistic achievement.

Netflix is ​​making another bid for a Best Picture Oscar

And I say that, even though the movie is so stomach-churning I’ll try not to see it for the rest of my life if I can help it.

Artistic, technical and visual – Edward Berger’s adaptation for Netflix of the seminal WWI novel is simply a marvel, a striking example of filmmaking. And there are scenes I will never forget. The horror and gore are visceral, from the tank carelessly crushing a wounded soldier to death to the shocking use of flamethrowers by some of the soldiers. you feeling the ghostly, thousand-foot stares of the soldiers fighting, as the men responsible for putting them there are miles from the battlefield, enjoying cigars and delicious meals.

At one point, German soldiers covered in mud are ordered to do something about all the stagnant water in their trench that prevents them from keeping their boots dry. They use their helmets to drain the water over the trench… while it’s still raining. “Somehow this is not how I imagined it,” one of them laments.

Later, marching through a field, one of the Germans looks up to see a man dangling high from a tree branch. Must have been a huge explosion, he is told. The poor fellow was so blown out of his clothes. One of the Germans muses on how they will all function after this is all over. “We will be like travelers who belong somewhere else in another country.”

Felix Kammerer as Paul Bäumer and Albrecht Schuch as Stanislaus Katczinsky in ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’. Image source: Netflix

Prediction: No news from the Western Front will come up short

For its attempts at a Best Picture win in the past, the streaming giant has released more artsy films that you thought would catch on with Academy voters — along the lines of Rome, The Irishman, Marriage story, limping, The trial of the Chicago 7the log Don’t look upAnd The power of the dog.

According to IMDB, No news from the Western Front has garnered a total of 75 nominations this award season, placing it No. 8 out of 10 nominees for this year’s Best Picture on that basis. In terms of the percentage of wins to date No news from the Western Front is at 40% (after racking up 30 wins out of those 75 nominations) – making it #4 of this year’s 10 Best Picture nominations.

But ultimately I suspect so No news from the Western Front will probably come up short, for reasons that shouldn’t come as a surprise – especially for a war film.

All Quiet on the Western Front on Netflix
Albrecht Schuch and Felix Kammerer in the Netflix WWI movie ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’. Image source: Reiner Bajo/Netflix

Take another look at that list above of Netflix’s past Best Picture contenders. For starters, there’s not a single crowd-pleaser in the bunch. They are all high end accolades, show baits and lack that extra ingredient that makes you want to check them out again for the sheer pleasure of it. And then, to prove my point, Apple comes along, offering unstoppable feel-good codeand there it is: the first Best Picture Oscar ever won by a streaming service.

When it comes to No news from the Western FrontMeanwhile, his strength may also turn out to be his greatest weakness. The film does not tell us anything new about the horrors of war – only the fact that what we are seeing now in Ukraine is nothing new. That old men keep talking and young men keep dying. As it always has been.

Smarter people than me can more authoritatively penalize the odds for this year’s best picture, but if I had to guess, I actually think the code will be A24’s quirky and surprisingly heartfelt multiverse film Everything everywhere at once. Again, Netflix’s WWI movie is a stunning work of uncompromising vision and storytelling, don’t get me wrong. But there are so many reasons why Everything everywhere will probably take home the gold statuette.

It’s weird, delightful, completely original, and a story worth relishing over and over again. No news from the Western Front is certainly a great leap forward. But Netflix would do well to take some notes here.

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