Ryan Coogler’s blockbuster “Black Panther,” Bradley Cooper’s hit musical “A Star Is Born” and Peter Farrelly’s period dramedy “Green Book” have made the American Film Institute’s list of the top 10 films of 2018, as part of a wide-ranging selection that also includes the independent films “First Reformed” by Paul Schrader and “Eighth Grade” by Bo Burnham.
Also on the list: Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk,” Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite,” Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” Rob Marshall’s “Mary Poppins Returns” and John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place.”
Damien Chazelle’s “First Man” and Adam McKay’s “Vice” were both missing from the list, as they were from the National Board of Review’s recent list of the year’s best films.
Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” which was ineligible for the AFI list because it’s not an American-made film, was voted a special award.
The list gives an additional boost to “First Reformed” and “Eighth Grade,” which have fared well so far this awards season. It also gives respect to the horror film “A Quiet Place,” provides the first awards recognition to “Mary Poppins Returns” and keeps the momentum going for awards favorites “A Star Is Born,” “Black Panther,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “The Favourite” and “Green Book.”
This marks the second time that an awards group has accepted “The Favourite,” shot in England by a Greek director but released by the U.S. company Fox Searchlight, as an American film. The Gotham Awards did the same, while the Film Independent Spirit Awards classified it as a foreign film and the British Independent Film Awards designated it a British film.
The AFI’s list of the top television programs of the year included “The Americans,” “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” “Atlanta,” “Barry,” “Better Call Saul,” “The Kominsky Method,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Pose,” “Succession” and “This Is Us.”
Since the Academy expanded its Best Picture category from five to 10 in 2009, and to a variable number of nominees two years later, the AFI Top 10 list has been a fairly reliable indicator that a film is likely to land an Oscar nomination. But the two lists have never matched exactly, with the AFI more prone to salute mainstream blockbusters (“Wonder Woman,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Bridesmaids”) and animated films (“Zootopia,” “Inside Out”) than the Academy.
The AFI list also honors American films only, which means that Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning films like “The King’s Speech,” “The Artist” and “Amour” were ineligible in past years.
In an average year, three films on the AFI list fail to make the cut with Oscar Best Picture voters, and two films not on AFI’s honor roll end up singled out by the Academy.
The AFI lists are chosen by juries made up of film and television artists, critics, scholars and AFI Trustees. The awards will be presented at a luncheon in Los Angeles on Jan. 4, 2019.
The AFI Top 10 lists:
AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR
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