The American Film Institute — known to most as the organization that broadcast TV specials for the Top 100 Movie Lists at the turn of the century — announced their 20th Annual AFI Awards, a Top 10 List for the year’s best movies. It doesn’t name a single film as Best of the Year; it simply lists a Top 10 alphabetically.
The AFI list has arguably become the most accurate predictor of the Best Picture Oscar. Of their Top 10 choices, 6 to 7 per year usually go on to be nominees for the Academy’s top prize. In addition, the AFI choices have always included the eventual winner.
In other words: just look below and you’ll see the next Best Picture Oscar winner somewhere in that list.
Notable omissions? Ford v Ferrari, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Bombshell, and Avengers: Endgame. These films skew more toward populist options, the kind that the AFI will often favor, so to not see any of them here likely makes them official long shots for a Best Picture nomination.
Notable inclusion: Richard Jewell, the Clint Eastwood film based on the true story of the man who was wrongly accused by the FBI and the press for the 1996 Olympics bombing in Atlanta. Between that conservative-leaning film and the liberal biases of Bombshell, the Fox News sex scandal expose would be the more likely nominee by the Academy. This, however, may suggest that the industry love for Eastwood still looms large.
Also notable: the Special Award citation for Parasite, the South Korean thriller that wasn’t eligible for the Top 10 list because it’s not an American film. The Cannes Film Festival winner from Bong Joon-ho is a big contender for Best Picture and Director nominations come Oscar time, and having an extra citation here (in this major Oscar precursor list) further confirms how strong the awards buzz is for Parasite.
Here are the AFI choices for the 10 Best Movies of 2019 (listed in alphabetical order):
AFI Movies of the Year 2019
Special Award: Parasite
Click on links below for other Critics Group Awards and Guild Nominees that have been announced so far for the 2019 / 20 season:
Screen Actors Guild Award Winners
Producers Guild of America Winners
Critics’ Choice Awards Winners
Directors Guild of America Nominations
Writers Guild of America Nominations
Golden Globe Winners
National Society of Film Critics
Dallas-Forth Worth Film Critics Association
Boston Society of Film Critics
Oklahoma Film Critics Circle
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
New York Film Critics Circle
National Board of Review
Atlanta Film Critics Circle