At the Movies: Not very ‘Quiet’
BY PAUL WILLISTEIN
“All Quiet on the Western Front” is anything but ... quiet.
It’s a noisy, intense, visceral film about World War I that announces itself with a two-note music figure that is as iconic and foreshadowing as the well-known music motifs for the movies “Jaws” (1975) and “E.T” (1982) and, yes, Ludwig Van Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in C Minor.
The Original Score by Volker Bertelmann for “All Quiet on the Western Front “ was nominated for an Oscar, and deservedly won a Best Original Score Oscar.
“All Quiet on the Western Front” is not a remake of Director Lewis Milestone’s Academy Award-winning film adaptation released in 1930 and based on the novel, “All Quiet on the Western Front,” by Erich Maria Remarque, published in 1929.
At the time of the 1930 movie’s release, the Nazis banned the film and staged riots whenever it was screened in Germany.
There is also a 1979 made-for-TV movie based on “All Quiet on the Western Front.”
The 2022 movie, originally titled “Im Westen nichts Neues,” directed by Edward Berger, is a new adaptation of the novel, “All Quiet on the Western Front.” The point of view remains that of the novel’s protagonist, Paul (Felix Kammerer, in his feature movie debut), a young German soldier.
“All Quiet on the Western Front” is based on real events from 1917-1918. The characters Paul and General Friedrichs (played by Devid Striesow) are fictional.
In the movie, Paul is a new recruit who heads to the front where he and his idealistic friends, including Albert (Aaron Hilmer), Franz Müller (Moritz Klaus), Ludwig Behm (Adrian Grünewald) and Tjaden Stackfleet (Edin Hasanovic), are immediately thrown into battle. Paul befriends an older soldier, Stanislaus “Kat” Katczinsky (Albrecht Schuch).
The strategic use on the battlefield of tanks, especially by the French; bi-planes, by the allied forces, and machine guns and flame-throwers, is emphasized. The warfare scenes are not for the faint of heart.
The movie chronicles negotiations to achieve the armistice, led by a German official, Matthias (Daniel Bruhl), that ended the war.
The movie presages the shattered German psyche that would provide the delusions that led Germany toward World War II.
“All Quiet on the Western Front” was nominated for nine Oscars, tied with “The Banshees of Inisherin,” at nine, and second only to “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” with 11 Oscar nominations. “Elvis” had eight Oscar nominations; “The Fabelmans,” seven; ”Top Gun: Maverick” and “Tár” each had six; “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, five, and “Avatar: The Way of Water,” four.
The nine Oscar nominations for “All Quiet on the Western Front” included Best Picture (Malte Grunert); International Feature Film, for which it won; Best Adapted Screenplay for Edward Berger and shared with screenplay co-writers Lesley Paterson and Ian Stokell; Cinematography (Director of Photography James Friend), for which it won; Original Score (Volker Bertelmann), for which it won; Sound (Viktor Prášil, Frank Kruse, Markus Stemler, Lars Ginzel, Stefan Korte); Visual Effects (Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller, Markus Frank, Kamil Jafar); Production Design (Production Design: Christian M. Goldbeck; Set Decoration: Ernestine Hipper), for which it won, and Makeup and Hairstyling (Heike Merker, Linda Eisenhamerová).
“All Quiet on the Western Front” swept the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards, winning for Best Film, Best Film Not in the English Language, Best Direction, Best Original Score, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Cinematography.
“All Quiet on the Western Front” draws comparisons to other notable war movies. Of course, there’s Director Sam Mendes’ “1917” (released in 2018), which was about World War I.
In terms of realism, the movie recalls Director Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan” (1998), which was about the European Theater of World War II; Director Clint Eastwood’s “Flags of our Fathers” (2006) and “Letters from Iwo Jima” (2006), which was about the Pacific Theatre of World War II, and Director Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” (2017).
“All Quiet on the Western Front” is a monumental film. It is a must-see, not only for its cinematic excellence, but for what it says about war, just when the world thought it had fought its last war, as it always does.
“All Quiet on the Western Front,”
MPAA rated R (Restricted Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.) for strong bloody war violence and grisly images; Genre: War, Action, Drama; Run time: 2 hours, 28 minutes.
Credit Readers Anonymous:
“All Quiet on the Western Front” was filmed in Belgium, Germany and the Czech Republic.
At The Movies:
“All Quiet on the Western Front” was seen in one of the excellent Dolby Theaters in the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas, SteelStacks, Bethlehem.
Theatrical Movie Domestic Box Office,
March 10 - 12: “Scream VI,” starring Jenna Ortega, opened at No. 1, scaring up $44.5 million in 3,675 theaters, knocking director-star Michael B. Jordan’s “Creed III,” from its one-week reign at No. 1, dropping to No. 2 with $27.1 million in 4,007 theaters, $101.3 million, two weeks, as “65,” starring Adam Driver, opened at No. 3 with $12.3 million in 3,405 theaters.
4. “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” dropped two places, $7 million in 3,105 theaters, $197.9 million, four weeks. 5. “Cocaine Bear” dropped two places, $6.2 million in 3,204 theaters, $51.6 million, three weeks. 6. “Jesus Revolution,” $5.1 million in 2,519 theaters, $39.4 million, three weeks. 7. “Champions,” opening, $5.1 million in 3,028 theaters. 8. “Avatar: The Way of Water” dropped two places, $2.7 million in 1,675 theaters, $674.6 million, 13 weeks. 9. “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” $1.6 million in 1,816 theaters, $179.6 million, 12 weeks. 10. “Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre,” $1.2 million in 2,168 theaters, $5.5 million, two weeks.
Movie box office information from Box Office Mojo as of March 12 is subject to change.
“Shazam! Fury of the Gods,”
MPAA Rated PG-13. David Sandberg directs Helen Mirren, Zachary Levi and Grace Caroline Currey in the Science Fiction Action Comedy. Billy Batson recites the magic word “Shazam!” and is transformed into his adult Super Hero alter ego, Shazam.
Movie opening date information from Independent Movie Database as of March 12 is subject to change.
Five Popcorn Boxes out of Five Popcorn Boxes