The American Film Institute announces their top ten pictures of the year tomorrow and it’s usually a good indication of half or more of the eventual BP contenders at the Oscars.
Keep in mind that American product only is eligible for this particular group. Since this list began in 2000, the Academy’s BP recipient has only missed here five times. Four of those occasions were due to the whole country of origin thing – 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, 2010’s The King Speech, The Artist in 2011, and Parasite from 2019. The Departed in 2006 also didn’t make the cut. This means you shouldn’t expect Aftersun, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Banshees of Inisherin, Decision to Leave, or RRR to surface here.
So what will? The AFI ten and the Oscar ten had a solid match last year at 8. Tick, Tick… Boom! and The Tragedy of Macbeth were the AFI inclusions that didn’t make it with the Academy. They went with two features from outside the U.S. in Belfast and Drive My Car. In recent years, the match number is usually 6 or 7.
It’s not uncommon for AFI to pick blockbusters or animated fare that the Academy does not. Recent examples include Soul, Knives Out, Mary Poppins Returns, A Quiet Place, Wonder Woman, Zootopia, Inside Out, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Straight Outta Compton.
Let’s talk of the pics I have just missing the cut. It was hard to leave off Tár. If it fails to be named tomorrow, that would be two disappointing days in a row after it surprisingly missed the National Board of Review (NBR) list today. Same goes for She Said and The Whale while Till did make NBR. More popcorn flavored flicks like The Batman, Nope, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever are all viable contenders.
We shall see if any of them get in. Avatar, Babylon, Elvis, Glass Onion, Pinocchio, and The Woman King all feel like pics that should make it here if they have any hope of making the Academy’s cut. It is rare for the Oscars to nominate a more mainstream title that AFI doesn’t.
I’ll have a recap up tomorrow with commentary and how I did!
AFI Top Predictions
Avatar: The Way of Water
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Top Gun: Maverick
The Woman King