The AFI’s best of 2007

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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):

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Into the Wild
Juno
Knocked Up
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
Ratatouille
The Savages
There Will Be Blood

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:

Dexter
Everybody Hates Chris
Friday Night Lights
Longford
Mad Men
Pushing Daisies
The Sopranos
Tell Me You Love Me
30 Rock
Ugly Betty

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.

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