James Friend won the Oscar tonight in the Best Cinematography category for his work on Edward Berger’s All Quiet on the Western Front, beating out fellow cinematographers Darius Khondji, Mandy Walker, Roger Deakins and Florian Hoffmeister.
“It’s not my birthday, but I feel like it is,” Friend said as he accepted the Academy Award for his work on the Netflix film, referencing the previous speech from An Irish Goodbye, where the audience sang “Happy Birthday” for star James Martin.
This marks Friend’s first Oscar nomination and Oscar win. Among his thanks, Friend attributed his success to his parents for believing in him when he wanted to “join the circus of the film industry.”
All Quiet on the Western Front explores the World War I battlefront through the eyes of fatigued German soldiers. Based on the 1928 novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque, Berger’s film follows newly enlisted teenager Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer) and his friends as they face the unspeakable horrors of serving with the German army on the front lines. Friend had previously collaborated with Berger on Your Honor and Patrick Melrose.
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Friend also thanked his entire crew, saying they “made this happen for me and made me look better than I am. And Edward Berger… just thank you so much… from the bottom of my heart thank you so much.”
All Quiet on the Western Front was nominated for eight other Oscars, including Best Picture and Best International Feature, tying with Banshees of Inisherin for second most nominations after Everything Everywhere All at Once.
The Netflix film won four Oscars tonight, for International Feature Film, Original Score and Production Design.
Here is Friend backstage:
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