The American Film Institute has spoken, further legitimizing the Oscar prospects of female-driven titles from 2017, six of which were hailed Thursday as the nonprofit organization’s best movies of the year.
Benefitting most from this trustworthy Oscar foreteller are Patty Jenkins’ blockbuster hit Wonder Woman, which picks up its first major precursor accolade here, as well as Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird and Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water — both of which maintained significant profiles on the awards circuit in recent weeks.
Though not directed by women, The Shape of Water, Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Steven Spielberg’s The Post, and Sean Baker’s The Florida Project all feature women at the head of their respective narratives, making this list a refreshingly female collective when compared to previous years.
Jordan Peele’s Get Out and Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name similarly occupy space on the AFI’s top 10, rounding out what has been a remarkable year for representation in the run-up to the Academy Awards.
Since the Academy expanded the best picture category in 2009 to include anywhere between five and 10 nominees after a preferential vote, the AFI’s list has matched roughly five to eight Academy contenders per year. Most recently, seven 2016 best picture contenders preceded their Oscar nominations with an appearance on the AFI’s top 10.
Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour, pegged out of the fall festivals as a contender to watch in multiple above the line categories, also missed the AFI’s list, but for good reason: the Winston Churchill biopic is a British production, and the AFI only recognizes movies “with significant creative and/or production elements from the United States,” per official rules. Missing out on an AFI notice shouldn’t harm the film’s standing with industry voters as the Screen Actors Guild prepares to close its nominations voting on Sunday.
Though its funding dollars came from a wide range of countries (including the U.S., Brazil, Italy, and France), those rules did not apply to Call Me by Your Name, which has flexed significant muscle on the precursor trail thus far. Three Billboards was similarly funded with foreign dollars.
Check out AFI’s top 10 movies and TV shows (in alphabetical order) below, and be sure to keep track of the contenders in the Oscar race with EW’s awards season scoreboard here.
AFI top 10 movies of 2017:
The Big Sick
Call Me by Your Name
The Florida Project
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
AFI top 10 TV shows of 2017:
Big Little Lies
Feud: Bette and Joan
Game of Thrones
The Good Place
The Handmaid’s Tale
Master of None
This Is Us
AFI special award: The Vietnam War