Bong Joon-ho's Parasite and Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Fleabag earned special awards.
The American Film Institute on Wednesday named its picks for the Top Ten films and television programs of the year. Two juries select the winners each year, one for film and one for TV. In order to ease the process and eliminate potential horsetrading (to use a word from critic, Mark Harris), the members of the jury are unaware of the other members of the jury until after votes have been tallied and winners have been announced.
This year's juries included the aforementioned critic Harris, directors Lesli Linka Glatter and Betty Thomas, actors John Amos and Delroy Lindo, film historian Leonard Maltin, the AFI Board of Trustees, plus a litany of renowned authors, and film and TV critics.
The top films list includes many awards season friendly titles, like The Irishman, Marriage Story, 1917, and Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood. Inclusion of Knives Out is a bit of a surprise and Little Women certainly needed the awards season boost. The most glaring omission is Parasite, a crowd-friendly and critics-friendly international film from director Bong Joon-ho. The South Korean film was ineligible as it wasn't an American-produced film. The AFI film jury did hand it a special award, a choice that is somewhat unique for the organization.
On the television side, Veep and Game of Thrones are the old favorites that have returned for the final time. Both programs will be ineligible next year due to series-ending finales airing this year. Like Parasite, Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Fleabag has been a critical favorite, but was ineligible for a spot on the top program list as it's not an American production. To still offer the show kudos, the television jury voted to give the Emmy-winning series a special award.
Award winners will be feted at a ceremonial luncheon in January in Los Angeles.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS:
AFI MOTION PICTURES OF THE YEAR
ONCE UPON A TIME..IN HOLLYWOOD
AFI TELEVISION PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR
GAME OF THRONES
WHEN THEY SEE US