The American Film Institute has announced their annual AFI Movies of the Year list and the most surprising thing about it is there are no real surprises on it — even to the point of including a so-called comic book movie with Warner Bros’ Wonder Woman making the cut.
In fact, in terms of the expected names, the AFI’s list matches almost film for film with yesterday’s Best Picture list from the Critics’ Choice Awards with the exception of Wonder Woman which did not appear on the Critics' Choice top 10 while Darkest Hour did (that British film is ineligible for AFI honors due to its U.K. origin).
Although indie films have dominated early critics awards, nearly half of the AFI list consists of films released by the major studios, with Dunkirk, The Post and Get Out joining Wonder Woman. The rest of the list includes two from Fox Searchlight, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Shape of Water; plus two from A24 which has Lady Bird and The Florida Project. Sony Pictures Classics is represented by Call Me by Your Name, while Amazon scored with The Big Sick.
Netflix was snubbed on the film side again as there was no love for their big hope Mudbound (they did score three mentions on the TV list, so Ted Sarandos will still have an invite to the AFI luncheon January 5). Other films not making the cut include Molly’s Game, I, Tonya, Phantom Thread, Wonder, Logan, War for the Planet of the Apes, The Disaster Artist, Coco and Blade Runner 2049 in addition to the top-grossing film of 2017 Beauty and the Beast.
This year’s AFI list is pretty much exactly what was expected from the group and further narrows the field of serious Oscar threats to the same titles we are starting to hear over and over. However, all hope is not lost: three of the AFI’s top 10 last year did not go on to a Best Picture nomination from the Academy, though usually the correlation is fairly close between the two groups.
Last year, AFI selected seven of the eventual nine Oscar Best Picture nominees including eventual winner Moonlight (the AFI list also included Zootopia, not a Best Pic nominee but winner of Best Animated Feature).
Here’s this year’s AFI list:
AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR
The Big Sick
Call Me by Your Name
The Florida Project
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri