2018 AFI Awards Honor ‘If Beale Street Could Talk,’ ‘Atlanta,’ And ‘Roma’

Last year, I called the list of AFI Award winners predictable, due to my ability to predict 9 out of 10 film winners and 5 out of 10 television winners. I believe the Institute read my article and took that comment to heart, because they went out of their way this year to put together a solid list, mixing the obvious (hi, A Star Is Born) with the shocking (Eighth Grade and First Reformed again?!?)

Yes, as listed above, I only managed to predict seven of this year’s Best Movie awards. Joining A Star Is Born, Eighth Grade, and First Reformed were films that ranged from the blockbuster, like Mary Poppins Returns, A Quiet Place, and Black Panther (duh) to the Oscar fare like BlacKkKlansman, The Favourite, Green Book, and If Beale Street Could Talk. Meanwhile, while Roma was technically ineligible for the awards due to its non-American producers (I mean, to be fair, it is the American Film Institute), it did receive a special citation for its artistic achievements – an award previously given to The King’s Speech and The Artist. Overall, I can say this is an exciting list, but there are several films that missed out that truly shock me. For one, First Man, the best film of the year so far, missed out on the list entirely, continuing its trend of being snubbed by the industry. While this isn’t entirely worrisome yet, the fact that the film can’t seem to get its campaign together may imply the film will be shut out come January (a fate that truly terrifies me). Vice also found itself on the outside looking in, although it has the benefit of not screening in time to make the list (most likely). And perhaps most disappointing of all, despite the fact that this has been a terrific year for female directors, and the possibility of adding both You Were Never Really Here (my personal favorite) or Can You Ever Forgive Me? (a legit Oscar contender), the AFI appears to have ignored these films in order for a completely-male directed list of winners. Oh well; at least half of these films are either about women or feature a major female character.

Meanwhile, on the TV side of things, I once again went five for ten in terms of my predictions. It wasn’t that hard to predict The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Barry, Atlanta, or Pose, and Succession just seemed like the type of show they would go for. Meanwhile, it wouldn’t have been that hard to predict The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Better Call Saul, The Americans, and This Is Us, I just didn’t think the Institute liked these shows, or that they had fallen out of love with them. And as for the final slot…well, I haven’t watched The Kominsky Method yet, so I will withhold judgment. As for the rest of these shows, it’s a pretty solid list, although I will say I would have included Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, GLOW, Big Mouth, The Haunting of Hill House, or Queer Eye, just to name a few.

In terms of the awards races, I will say that this announcement helps cement four key films as our frontrunners going forward: If Beale Street Could Talk, The Favourite, Roma, and A Star Is Born, while helps raise the status of indie darlings Eighth Grade and First Reformed. Of the snubs, the only film that has to be worried right now is First Man. You can see the full list of Honorees below:

AFI Movies Of The Year

  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Black Panther
  • Eighth Grade
  • The Favourite
  • First Reformed
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Green Book
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • A Quiet Place
  • A Star Is Born

AFI TV Programs Of The Year

  • The Americans
  • The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
  • Atlanta
  • Barry
  • Better Call Saul
  • The Kominsky Method
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Pose
  • Succession
  • This Is Us

AFI Special Award


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