AFI (The American Film Institute) have weighed in with their selections for the top 10 films and television programs for the year 2013. Last year, 8 of the 10 films that the AFI selected ended up being nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture. In 2011, 7 out of the 10 films they selected were nominated. In 2010, 9 out of the 10 films they selected were nominated. In those years the films that received Best Picture nominates but were not on the AFI list (Amour, The Artist, The King’s Speech) were deemed ineligible because they were not significantly American, in terms of either the production of the film or the creative significance. To be clear, the AFI chooses their awards based on:
- Best advance the art of the moving image
- Enhance the rich cultural heritage of America’s art form
- Inspire audiences and artists alike
- And/or make a mark on American society
Out of 2013’s crop of potential Best Picture nominees, it does not strike me that any would have been deemed ineligible by AFI.
AFI Movies of the Year (2013)
12 Years a Slave
Inside Llewyn Davis
Saving Mr. Banks
The Wolf of Wall Street
If there is one film that I am surprised the AFI left off, based on their previous track record and penchat for stories that “make a mark on American society,” it is Lee Daniels’ The Butler. On the flip side, I am surprise to see Fruitvale Station here in its place and at this point think that film has very limited Oscar potential. At this point I would be very surprised if a film not on this list ends up nominated for Best Picture, although I suppose the aforementioned The Butler and August: Osage County have an outside shot.
AFI Television Programs of the Year (2013)
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
House of Cards
Masters of Sex
Orange is the New Black
Interesting to note here is the presence of only one half hour (Veep), two shows that air on network (The Good Wife, Scandal) and two Netflix shows (House of Cards, Orange is the New Black). This strikes me as a diverse list that isn’t afraid to favor new and risky television instead of the same old thing. What I find especially fascinating is that only 3 of these shows (Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Mad Men) appeared on last year’s list, which shows a dedication to attempting to choose what they view was truly the best in a calendar year instead of awarding old favorites like so many do.