Yesterday, the American Film Institute selected its 10 best films and TV shows of the year. Nobody gets to vote — there are no nominations, no names submitted for anyone’s consideration. You might call the lists unilateral. You could also call them surprising.
Here are the top films, in no particular order (er, in alphabetical order):
Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Savages:
Atonement didn’t make the list because only American films were considered (’cause, uh, it’s the American Film Institute). Other current favorites, like Sweeney Todd, just didn’t make it. Well, there’s no accounting for taste. But isn’t it weird to see Knocked Up and Juno on the same list? And right next to each other like that? I guess unplanned pregnancy is the new black.
And here are the top TV shows, also unranked:
Ally Walker in Tell Me You Love Me:
At least they honored Ugly Betty, and I’m impressed that Everybody Hates Chris got noticed (finally). But Tell Me You Love Me is on my 10 worst of the year. And how have I completely missed out on Longford? I don’t think I had even heard of it before the Golden Globe nominations. I’m also clueless about Dexter, unfortunately. Netflix, here I come!
The selected films and programs will be honored at a luncheon in January. No nominating, no voting, no TV special. I guess the AFI favors edification over entertainment, and values critical thought over crowdsourcing. Crazy.