AFI top 10 raises Joker, Little Women, more in Oscar race squib

The American Film Institute has announced its picks for the best films of 2019 amid one of the busiest precursor weeks of awards season.

Joining the likes of the National Board of Review, the Gotham Awards, and the New York Film Critics Circle, AFI announced its year-end top 10 films list Wednesday afternoon, adding major weight to the Oscar bids for breakthrough contenders like Todd Phillips’ Joker and Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, which earned their first major notices on the trail thus far, as well as Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, which has thus far generated major traction at the awards precursors as a top contender for Best Picture.

Also appearing on the AFI’s unranked top 10 list are Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, Sam Mendes’ 1917, Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell, and Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit, which also won the TIFF People’s Choice Award (a reliable Oscar bellwether).

Elsewhere on the awards circuit, the Oscar-predictive NBR named The Irishman its top film of 2019, while Gotham Awards showered Marriage Story with accolades, as the Netflix drama won trophies in the Best Film, Best Actor (Adam Driver), and Best Screenplay categories.

Comprised of filmmakers, critics, and other industry professionals, the AFI is a non-profit film organization that honors and supports the production of American movies, meaning likely Oscar contenders like Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite were ineligible to land a spot on the group’s top 10 list, though the film did receive a special honor outside the AFI top 10.

Missing out on the AFI’s top 10 does not necessarily mean a given film should be ruled out of the Academy’s Best Picture race, as omissions didn’t stop foreign-produced titles like 2011’s The Artist and 2010’s The King’s Speech — both of which were honored with special AFI awards, as the Mexican-made Roma was last year — from winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

Historically, the AFI’s annual list typically matches the Academy’s Best Picture category between five to eight films, at least since the Academy expanded its top category’s field in 2009 to include anywhere between five and 10 nominees after a preferential vote. Last year, five movies on AFI’s top 10 crossed over into Academy territory: A Star Is Born, BlacKkKlansman, Black Panther, The Favourite, and eventual winner Green Book.

Check out AFI’s top 10 movies and TV shows (in alphabetical order) of 2019 below, and be sure to check out EW’s Oscar predictions here.

AFI top 10 movies of 2019 (listed alphabetically):

1917
The Farewell
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Knives Out
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Richard Jewell

Special award: Parasite

AFI top 10 TV shows of 2019 (listed alphabetically):

Chernobyl
The Crown
Fosse/Verdon
Game of Thrones
Pose
Succession
Unbelievable 
Veep
Watchmen
When They See Us

Special award: Fleabag

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2019 New York Film Critics Circle Awards announced: See the full winners list The Irishman, Adam Sandler get Oscars boost as National Board of Review winners announced Here are EW’s early predictions for the 2020 Oscar nominations
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