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"My two favorites, BPM and Summer '93, were left out so now I'm rooting for Chile's A FANTASTIC WOMAN all the way." - Peggy Sue

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« The New York Times' Great Performers' Shorts, Ranked | Main | 47 days til Oscar nominations and I'm feeling a bit morbid... »
Thursday
Dec072017

AFI Top Ten: No "Coco", Yes "Wonder Woman"

Consensus is a funny thing. And a boring one. But when mostly good art is honored you can't complain too much.  The American Film Insitute has announced its top ten of the year list which is identical to the Best Picture list offered up by the BFCA via the Critics Choice Awards. Well, as identical as it could be given one eligibility issue...

They are 

  • The Big Sick
  • Call Me By Your Name
  • Dunkirk
  • The Florida Project...
  • Get Out
  • Lady Bird
  • The Post
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
  • Wonder Woman

 

The only difference from the BFCA's list is that AFI has Wonder Woman in the slot the BFCA gave to Darkest Hour. The AFI list is exclusively for American films so Darkest Hour wouldn't have been eligible as a British production. 

The people picking the films each year changes so some years they're more "consensus" than others. This year has no instantly embarrassing pick which has kind of been one of their traditions. Usually there has been one that didnt so much age poorly as stick out like a sore thumb instantly in that it wasnt even that well regarded when it debuted (The Dark Knight Rises in 2012, Saving Mr Banks in 2013 Unbroken in 2014 or Sully in 2016).

One other thing: we can't imagine the makers of Coco are happy about being left out of this list since the AFI has historically been welcoming to animated features in this list (far more so than Oscar's Best Picture category). In recent years Inside Out, Toy Story 3, Coraline, Up, WALL•E, Ratatouille,  and Zootopia, all made it).

On the TV side of the equation the AFI chose like so

 

  • Big Little Lies
  • The Crown
  • Feud: Bette and Joan
  • Game of Thrones
  • The Good Place
  • The Handmaid's Tale
  • Insecure
  • Master of None
  • Stranger Things 2
  • This Is Us

 

As the target audience for Feud: Bette and Joan I was able to recognize that it wasn't awesome. Why do other people keep insisting that it was better than: The Americans, Atlanta, Big Mouth, Crazy ExGirlfriend, Mindhunter, Twin Peaks the Return, The Leftovers, Glow, The Deuce, the list goes on and on...Also why is The Crown eligible since this award is meant for American productions? Is it American enough given the funding and production and venue, etcetera?

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Reader Comments (15)

i am surprised Blade Runner 2049 is getting so little love. Oh well, maybe it was too boring. I don't hate this list and wonder if 2017 will be seen as a great year for movies. I think yes.

December 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJono

YAY for Wonder Woman!!!!

December 7, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

Considering how good it is, and considering Lynch is a huge AFI success story, it's surprising that TWIN PEAKS didn't make their TV list.

December 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDan O

Out of the TV list, the only two that I think deserved their spots were The Handmaid's Tale and Insecure (if it is for its terrific second season. The first one is not even good). The comedies are way too good in this TV era: Lady Dynamite, Brooklyn Nine Nine, The Last Man On Earth, Broad City, black-ish and especially Bob's Burgers and BoJack Hourseman deserve spots much more than half of those there

December 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMe34

I'm so thrilled Big Sick! Florida Project!

Get Out was blah to me.

I've seen 26 films so far, ranked:
1. Florida Project 2. Baby Driver 3. Big Sick 4. Dinner with Beatriz 5. American Made 6. Beguiled 7. Lost City of Z 8. Murder on the Orient Express 9. Logan Lucky 10. Mudbound 11. Wind River 12. Dunkirk 13. Circle 14. Wonder Wheel 15. Cars 3 16. Wonder Woman 17. Laine and Deidre Rob a Train 18. House 19. Colossal 20. Little Hours 21. Get Out 22. Kong Skull Island 23. Atomic Blonde 24. Great Wall 25. How to be a Latin Lover 26. The Discovery

I'm not much of a horror guy nor am I a fan of gross animals so that's why some of those action films got lower. Great Wall was so thin on anything but the special effects that I thought it was apalling. I'm not a humongous fan of anything that's too preachy about liberal social justice values and even though I love Key and Peele, Get Out wasn't that interesting to me.

I thought American Made and Beguiled were misunderstood masterpieces, American Made was extremely impressive stunt work, had an interesting character and through-line (a darker Forrest Gump who unwittingly wanders into corruption), and I felt emotional at the end.

Dunkirk was well-made but unlike Nolan's other works it didn't stay in my head, though I'm happy Nolan was able to reach a different audience who don't have patience for his labyrinthine plots and I'll be happy when he gets an Oscar

Wonder Woman had its strengths (the war camaraderie was a nice brand of feminism, the beautiful shots, the nice mostly platonic friendship) but was still a typical action movie, had a lead who couldn't act, and was filled with massive plot holes

The Circle had some crtiics who might have compared it to the book, but I love technology/social media satires and I thought it had some creepy elements of vouyerism and had some sharp things to say

Little Hours might have sounded nice on paper --a raunchy mideival comedy of errors-- but I found it not having a comic atmosphere. It just seemed like it was like a more emotionally flat version of the Beguiled.

Cars III might seem like a weird choice to not have it low like everyone else, but I really like the Cars universe and stories about people dealing with aging work best with sports metaphors and it's only because I haven't seen all the Rocky films that I found this to be quite novel

Wonder Wheel-I haven't seen Woody Allen in a while (Midnight in Paris and Melinda and Melinda were my last two), so I felt like this was pretty solid high drama. I felt like the Justin Timberlake character was immoral in ways that weren't addressed (perhaps that's a fault of Woody Allen himself, but I don't believe in career ruination for him)

December 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterOrrin

Me34: Have you seen The Good Place? It's amazing and definitely deserves its spot. Though as you said, a lot more comedies really should be in these lists. Crazy Ex Girlfriend certainly.

Didn't know CMBYN was an American production.

December 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Having just seen Coco and given how much I loved it I'm quite sad not to see it on here.

December 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Yay for The Good Place recognition on the tv side. I guess we've reached the point of consensus on the film lists going forward this year

December 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Nathaniel - Netflix is a US company, so The Crown would automatically be classed as a US production - it's where the funding came from.

However, BAFTA sneakily changed their rules this year to class a qualifying series as "either UK-funded or with majority UK writing, directing, cast and crew)" which meant that while it would previously have been disqualified, it received a load of nominations.

December 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterkermit_the_frog

Me24 - huh, I thought Insecure's season one was much more consistent. Season two definitely had some highlights but they reeeeaaaalllllly stretched to find some conflict (like the whole BJ-in-the-eye turning into a major fight/trauma for her).

Glad Big Little Lies and Master of None are getting recognized. But I agree with others that I wish CEX was here, too. It's one thing for the Emmys to stupidly ignore them because of their weird CW blindspot, but no one else should be.

December 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Both Dark Knight Rises and Saving Mr Banks got good reviews and made good money. When you say a film isnt well regarded what are you referring to exactly?

December 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTr

Atlanta wasn't eligible for this year. Last year it made the list.

December 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJ

Let's take a step back and acknowledge how unlikely it would've been a month ago (heck, maybe even a week ago) to say "boringly obvious front-runners Get Out and The Big Sick". I wouldn't say that "Lady Bird", "Call Me By Your Name", or "The Florida Project" are typical consensus fare either.

I'm only OK on "Get Out", but the pure fact that it is not at all an awards-type movie is to be celebrated. And if herd mentality is what it takes to sweep "The Big Sick" into the Best Picture field, then I'll only be too happy.

December 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGuestguestguest

"Get Out" like all classic horror films pushes the limitations of the genre to deal with real world issues.

December 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Like yeah, "Wonder Woman" is a good film. But not great. I understand the "importance" of what it achieved, but from a thematical point of view, the film is a betrayal of its own proposal SPOILER with a male character actually saving the day END SPOILER, and the film just feels as a female iteration of "Captain America: The First Avenger" even beat by beat.

I don't want to be preachy, but for a great, multilayered film about woman empowering, they did not have to look further than "Colossal", but of course, that's a small film that is not paying attention to Awards season, which raises the question, are critics choosing among what they saw, or among the films that are actually being promoted?

December 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJesus Alonso

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