“Sin novedad al frente”, the German Netflix film that surprised with 9 Oscar nominations

In Germany in 1917, Paul Baumer lied about his age to be able to join his friends in the First World War. (Netflix)

Aunque desde su estreno la película Sin novedad al frente (All Quiet on the Western Front) received multiple praises, few expected that this German film coproduced by Netflix was the second most nominated Oscar of this year. El largometraje competirá en nueve categorías y sólo está detrás de Todo en todas parts (Everything Everywhere All at Once) que compite en 11 rubros.

Las categories en las que buscará obtener algun premio este largometraje son: Mejor película, guion adaptado, maquillaje y peinado, fotografía, película internacional, diseño de producción, efectos visuales, banda sonora y sonido. This achievement is the sum of the more than 40 nominations that this project has accumulated around the world, since its release on September 29 of the past year. This project currently has a 92% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

It is the second most nominated film of this year at the Oscars.  (Netflix)
It is the second most nominated film of this year at the Oscars. (Netflix)

Sin novedad al frente follow the 17-year-old German soldier Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer), who lies about his age together with his friends in order to be able to fight during the First World War and thus obtain the recognition, fame and glory promised by the propaganda that recruited a soldier para ir a la batalla. Seguros de la victoria, los ingenuos jóvenes ignoran que innumerables combatienes ya han muerto antes que ellos y que serán brutalmente asesinados y si tienen suerte apenas escaparán con vida y malheridos.

This war film is based on the novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque, published in 1929 and adapted in two parts, one of which won an Oscar for best film and director for Lewis Milestone in 1930. This is the first time that the book ha sido adaptada por un cienasta alemán consciente de la culpa y la vergüenza que los alemanes asocian con la guerra. La cruda e inquietante producción se ha convertido en la alemana más nominada al premio de la academia en toda su historia.

The film is an adaptation of the novel written by Erich Maria Remarque in 1929. (Netflix)
The film is an adaptation of the novel written by Erich Maria Remarque in 1929. (Netflix)

Director Edward Berger co-wrote the script together with Ian Stokell and Lesley Paterson. I have an interview with you Variety, the director spoke about this adaptation of the novel from the German perspective: “We have a different cultural heritage. Alemania began two wars in the past century and brought much terror and horror to the world and felt that this perspective was important to count. Nacimos con eso y la película se siente diferente de un estudiantes o británico film donde los soldiers fueron a la guerra, ganaron, celebraron la victoria y regresaron a casa con ese sentimiento. Nosotros no crecimos con eso, así que queríamos compartir esa emoción con una audiencia internacional”.

La novela fue un gran éxito de ventas internacional en 1929, incluso fue prohibida y quemada en la Nazia Alemania. Como relató la revista Smithsonian: “the absoluta falta de propaganda proalemana de la novela y su mirada honesta y pessimista a la guerra hicieron del libro un objetivo nazi”. Preocupado por su seguridad, el autor huyó a Estados Unidos en 1939, donde no se daría cuenta de lo que su familia padecía en Alemania. His cousin became a prisoner of war and the destiny of his younger sister, Elfriede, was even more tragic.

The German actor Albrecht Schuch is the protagonist of history.  (Netflix)
The German actor Albrecht Schuch is the protagonist of history. (Netflix)

The film has a large cast made up of some of the most important actors in Germany, such as Daniel Brühl, who plays real-life pacifist writer and diplomat Matthias Erzberger. The public will recognize Brühl por sus innumerables papeles en películas y series como Falcon y el Soldado del Invierno, Bastardos sin gloria y Captain America: Civil War. Por su parte, el joven austriaco Felix Kammerer se mete en la piel del protagonista Paul Bäumer, quien pasa de la euphoria desenfrenada al terror después de witnessar la brutal muerte de sus amigos y recipir la tarea de recoger sus placas de identificación.

Other members of the reparto include Albrecht Schuch, who plays Stanislaus “Kat” Katczinsky, an illiterate shoemaker whose letters to his wife are read by Bäumer. El elenco also includes Moritz Klaus, Aaron Hilmer, Edin Hasanović, Adrian Grünewald, Devid Striesow, Andreas Döhler, Sebastian Hülk, Alexander Schuster, Luc Feit, Michael Wittenborn, Michael Stange, André Marcon, Tobias Langhoff and Anton von Lucke.

Daniel Brühl is one of the well-known faces of this production.  (Netflix)
Daniel Brühl is one of the well-known faces of this production. (Netflix)

Currently, Sin novedad en el frente It is qualified as one of the best films of 2022. It is also one of the best remakes of history and the best German films of all time. Previously, the drama was recognized in the Globo de Oro, National Board of Review, Critics Choice Awards and Premios del Cine Europeo. En los Oscar, además, es la principal candidate a convertirada en la Mejor película internacional, pero enfrente tiene a Argentina, 1985. This is not the first time that the novel has been adapted, in 1930 this text was brought to the big screen by Hollywood. El film no fue del agrado de la Nazi Germany. Incluso fue prohibida en varios cines de aquel país.

You can enjoy it Sin novedad en el frente que está disponible a través de Netflix.

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