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‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ director addresses German criticism on making an ‘Oscar-bait’

‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ director said, 'Germans are skeptical of ambition'

By Web Desk
February 21, 2023

File footage 

All Quiet on the Western Front clean sweep at this year’s BAFTAs with seven wins overall.

The German-language adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 anti-war novel received nods including best film, adapted screenplay, film not in the English language, director for Edward Berger, cinematography, sound and original score.

However, the film received negative reviews in Germany with critics calling out the director Edward Berger for changing elements from the book to create a “Oscar-bait”.

Berger, in an interview with The Independent, responded to the criticisms, saying: “Germans are always skeptical of ambition. Whenever you try something a little bit different than the norm, they get worried.”

He also shut down the notion that all reviews about the film had been negative, adding, “I think the reception overall was very, very positive in Germany, especially from audiences.”

“But of course, we had also critical reviews, you can't please everyone and that’s totally fine.”

The Your Honor director concluded by saying he doesn’t read any reviews after learning “very early” that “the good reviews make you vain and the bad reviews are a bit painful”.

All Quiet on the Western Front is nominated for a further nine awards at this year’s Oscars, making it the second-most nominated film this year.