If you’re the type who enjoys filling out Oscar prediction brackets with your friends, then it’s time to start paying attention. With 2018 sprinting down the final stretch, this year’s unreleased potential Oscar contenders must declare themselves now or forever hold their peace (and by forever I mean until 2019). Respected film institutions and critical associations have started sharing their best-of-the-year lists, and today marks the release of a significant one.
The American Film Institute (AFI) has revealed their top ten list of 2018 AFI Awards’ honourees. AFI’s mission statement is to “Celebrate the year’s most outstanding achievements in the art of the moving image.” These are works that AFI deems “Culturally and artistically significant.” So, in addition to their movie list, they share their list of ten outstanding TV series as well. Score!
What’s great about the AFI list is they often include crowd pleasers and popcorn flicks alongside critical darlings and indie gems. 2015’s list includes pop culture mainstays like Mad Max: Fury Road, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Straight Outta Compton. Noticeably absent on this year’s list is Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma because it’s a foreign-language film. In a move that speaks to Roma’s front-runner status, AFI awarded the picture their AFI Special Award.
Without further adieu, here’s AFI’s 2018 list of noteworthy movies and TV shows:
AFI’S MOVIES OF THE YEAR
If Beale Street Could Talk
Mary Poppins Returns
A Quiet Place
A Star Is Born
AFI TELEVISION PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Better Call Saul
The Kominsky Method
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
This Is Us
AFI SPECIAL AWARD
The biggest surprise here? It has to be Peter Farrelly’s divisive crowd-pleaser Green Book earning a spot over favourites like Damien Chazelle’s First Man and Steve McQueen’s lauded genre thriller Widows. On the TV side, I’m appalled that the Netflix horror/drama The Haunting of Hill House didn’t make the cut. It’s one of the most gripping, well-structured, and entertaining stories about a broken family that I’ve ever seen. The ghostly apparitions are just window dressing. If you’re a fan of great storytelling than The Haunting of Hill House deserves every minute of your time.
One film I would have loved to have seen sneak onto the list is Andrew Bujalski’s Support the Girls. You won’t find a smarter, funnier, and more relatable depiction of how the mechanisms of capitalism grind good-intentioned people down to the nub; all from the perspective of a group of servers working in a Hooters-style restaurant. And if that concept isn’t intriguing enough, the film features a killer Regina Hall performance that is more than deserving of some award season praise.
Want some other films that wouldn’t look out of place on this list? How about Lean on Pete, You Were Never Really Here, Hereditary, Wildlife, Private Life, and Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Which films do you think should have made the cut? Let’s keep the discussion going @VictorJStiff and @OnThatShelf.