The American Film Institute’s annual list highlighting the top 10 movies of the year includes multiple awards frontrunners. Given its foreign-language status, Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” landed a Special Award from the American Film Institute film jury. Otherwise two juries — which are a mix of critics, academics, and film professionals — celebrate the best of American cinema and television. This year’s crop is diverse, with films from veterans Spike Lee, Paul Schrader, Peter Farrelly, Yorgos Lanthimos, and Rob Marshall alongside relative newcomers Barry Jenkins, Ryan Coogler, and Bo Burnham, as well as actor-directors John Krasinski and Bradley Cooper.
All ten films were directed by men. On the TV side, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” at least was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino.
Among the films that were left out of the Film Top 10 are “First Man,” “Vice,” “Widows,” “The Front Runner” and among films directed by women, “Leave No Trace,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” and “On the Basis of Sex.”
AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR
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“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“A Quiet Place”
“A Star Is Born”
AFI TV PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR
“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
“Better Call Saul”
“The Kominsky Method”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
“This Is Us”
AFI SPECIAL AWARD
As usual, this year’s juries — one for film and one for television — were chaired by AFI Board of Trustees Vice Chairs Tom Pollock (former Vice Chairman of MCA, Chairman of Universal Pictures) for film and Richard Frank (former Chairman of Walt Disney Television, President of Walt Disney Studios, President of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) for television. The juries included David Benioff, Joan Chen, Courtney B. Vance, Alfre Woodard, and Leonard Maltin, among others.
The annual AFI Awards luncheon (January 4) is a lovely untelevised gathering that brings the film and television industries together to celebrate the best of the year.