Baftas 2023: Irish actors and German war film All Quiet on the Western Front dominate nominations

German drama All Quiet on the Western Front has matched an impressive Bafta record following the 2023 nominations announcement.

The Netflix war film, directed by Edward Berger, has been nominated in 14 categories, including Best Film, Best Supporting Actor for Albrecht Schuch, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

It’s the first major voting body to have honoured the film this season, with many wondering if it could now break into the main categories at the Oscars. The Academy Award nominations are being announced on Tuesday (24 January).

With recognition in 14 categories, it has equalled a record held by Ang Lee’s 2001 film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Both films are now the two most-nominated international releases in Bafta history.

As expected, Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin and Everything Everywhere All at Once, directed by Daniel Kwan ad Daniel Scheinert, were also nominated, receiving 10 nods each.

Folllwing close behind was Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, which saw Austin Butler receive his first Best Actor nomination alongside four other first-time nominees, three of whom – Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Daryl McCormack (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande) and Paul Mescal (Aftersun) – are Irish.

Rounding out the category is Brendan Fraser (The Whale) and Living actor Bil Nighy, the latter of whom won Best Supporting Actor for Love, Actually in 2004.

Cate Blanchett leads the Best Actress race for Tár, which picked up five nominations in total.

Joining her in the category is Viola Davis (The Woman King), Danielle Deadwyler (Till), Ana de Armas (Blonde), Emma Thompson (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande) and Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once).

Speaking to The Independent about the nominations, Bafta CEO Jane Millichip said: “The breadth of films nominated this year is really interesting.”

Millichip said that, since the 2020 Bafta review that saw 120 changes made in how the organisation runs the voting process, “more films tends to be nominated”.

Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ (Searchlight Pictures)
Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ (Searchlight Pictures)

”We have sligthly fewer movies entered overall – 217 – but there are a greater proportion of nominees,” Millichip continued, adding: “There are 45 films nominated, and there are 215 individual nominees. Whether that continues will be really interesting; we’ll be monitoring that.”

Speaking of Good luck to You, Leo Grande actor McCormack’s unexpected nomination in the leading actor category, which arrives days after his Rising Star nod, Millichip said: “I think all his Christmasses have come at once”.

Daryl McCormack and Emma Thompson have both been nominated for ‘Good Luck to You, Leo Grande’ (AP)
Daryl McCormack and Emma Thompson have both been nominated for ‘Good Luck to You, Leo Grande’ (AP)

Emma Baehr, Baftas’s executive director of awards and content, said that honouring newcomers such as McCormack “goes back to our mission that we want to support new talent”.

She added: “It’s just great to see that 14 out of 24 actors are first-time nominees – and we see four Rising Star winners returning. We have Barry Keoghan [The Banshees of Inisherin], Carey Mulligan [She Said], Eddie Redmayne [The Good Nurse] and Micheal Ward [Empire of Light].”

Millichip highlighted that “40 per cent of the performance nominees are ethnically diverse”, and also praised the age representation among this year’s crop, stating: “That’s something we don’t always see.”

She also said that, whilst Bafta is “very conscious” that just one woman has been nominated for best Director (The Woman King’s Gina Prince-Bythewood), “we are pleased to see 11 female directors nomiated in other catgeories”.

Viola Davis in ‘The Woman King' (Ilze Kitshoff)
Viola Davis in ‘The Woman King' (Ilze Kitshoff)

Find the full list of Bafta 2023 nominations here as well as live updates from the announcement, including nominee reactions, here.

The ceremony, hosted by Richard E Grant and Alison Hammond, will take place in London on 19 February.