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Baftas 2023: All Quiet on the Western Front dominates ceremony


World War One epic All Quiet on the Western Front has dominated at the Baftas, taking home seven awards, including best film.

It also won best adapted screenplay, best film not in the English language and best director for Edward Berger.

Its seven wins mean it has broken the Bafta record for the most awards won by a film not in English.

The Banshees of Inisherin was among the other big winners, taking outstanding British film and two acting prizes.

The big winners

  • 7 – All Quiet on the Western Front
  • 4 – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • 4 – Elvis
Baftas 2023: All Quiet on the Western Front dominates ceremony
Scottish screenwriter and producer Lesley Paterson accepted best adapted screenplay for All Quiet on the Western Front
Baftas 2023: All Quiet on the Western Front dominates ceremony
The filmmaker behind the World War One epic, Edward Berger, was also named best director

All Quiet on the Western Front is a screen adaptation of the 1928 novel by Erich Maria Remarque. In is his acceptance speech for best film not in the English language, Berger said the filmmakers “grew up with a responsibility to tell the story” and were honoured the public had “accepted it with overwhelming love”.

He also paid tribute to those fighting in Ukraine and told the audience he was able to get over his own “doubt” about making the film thanks to his daughter Matilda, who had encouraged him after reading the book at school.

Baftas 2023: All Quiet on the Western Front dominates ceremony
Kerry Condon was named best supporting actress for The Banshees of Inisherin

Irish stars Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan won best supporting actress and actor, and the movie was named outstanding British film despite its Irish setting and storyline.

After winning that award, director Martin McDonagh initially joked: “Best ‘what’ award?” But he then clarified the film was eligible for the category thanks to its financing from Channel 4.

He also accepted the prize for best original screenplay. In his speech, he said: “Making such a sad film shouldn’t have been this much fun, but it was because of [the cast].”

Dublin-born Keoghan, who spent time in care as a child, dedicated his supporting actor prize to “the kids from the area that I came from who are dreaming to be something”.

In her own acceptance speech, Condon told McDonagh: “Thank you for all the parts you’ve given me throughout my career. They make me feel so proud to be an Irishwoman.”

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic was another big winner, also taking home four prizes – best casting, costume design, make-up and hair and best leading actor.

Baftas 2023: All Quiet on the Western Front dominates ceremony
Austin Butler, who played the titular role in Elvis, thanked the Presley family in his acceptance speech

Austin Butler, who played the legendary singer in Elvis, said in his acceptance speech: “This is truly extraordinary. To my fellow nominees, I am in awe of you. I am so grateful for all these times we’ve been able to spend together.”

He added: “I want to thank the Presley family, I cannot thank you enough for your love. I hope I’ve made you proud.”

Elvis’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, died last month – shortly after the film triumphed at the Golden Globes.

Cate Blanchett was named best actress for her performance in Tár, in which she plays a renowned orchestra conductor whose career unravels when she is accused of abuse.

The Australian actress said the past 12 months had broken down the idea that women’s experiences are not “monolithic”, adding that her role as Lydia Tár “was a dangerous and career-ending potential undertaking”.

She also thanked her mother and the film’s director Todd Field, adding that 2022 had been an “extraordinary year for women”.

Baftas 2023: All Quiet on the Western Front dominates ceremony
Banshees director Martin McDonagh accepted the awards for outstanding British film and best original screenplay

Earlier in the night, Carey Mulligan was incorrectly announced as the winner of best supporting actress before it was corrected to Condon.

Deaf actor Troy Kotsur, who won a Bafta last year for Coda, was announcing the winner using sign language and an interpreter when the mix-up occurred. It was edited out of the later broadcast on BBC One.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (best animated feature), Babylon (best production design) and Aftersun (outstanding British debut).

As Aftersun director Charlotte Wells held up her trophy on stage, she joked: “My mum is here, this is for you… literally, because I overpacked.”

Baftas 2023: All Quiet on the Western Front dominates ceremony
Aftersun director Charlotte Wells told her mother: “This [award] is for you… literally, because I overpacked”

Navalny won best documentary, and producer Odessa Rae used her acceptance speech to pay tribute to investigative journalist Christo Grozev, who could not be at the ceremony due to “a public security risk”.

Grozev, who features in the film about the poisoning of Kremlin-critic Alexei Navalny, claimed during the week that Bafta had withdrawn an invitation after acting on police advice.

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse, adapted from the illustrated book by Charlie Mackesy, won the Bafta for best British short animation.

Mackesy praised those involved in the adaptation and hailed those who strive to be “kind” and “brave” in life.

Sex Education star Emma Mackey won the rising star prize, calling her win “really special” and thanking “all the casts and crews I’ve had the privilege of working with thus far”.

Baftas 2023: All Quiet on the Western Front dominates ceremony
Sex Education star Emma Mackey won the EE rising star award

Prior to Sunday’s wins for All Quiet On The Western Front, the record for the most Baftas for a non-English language film was held by Italian coming-of-age drama Cinema Paradiso, which scooped five in 1991.

The ceremony was hosted by Richard E Grant, who gave an assured and self-deprecating performance, with jokes that landed well with the audience.

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