The American Film Institute has announced its annual list of the 10 best U.S. releases, which last year predicted nine of the eventual 10 Best Picture nominees. On the list this time are nine expected contenders: The Descendants, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Help, J. Edgar, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, and War Horse. But the AFI also included one very interesting dark horse: Bridesmaids. Missing from the top 10: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Beginners, Drive, The Ides of March, and Young Adult. UPDATE: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was eligible but the AFI committee decided to give the entire Potter series a special award instead.
Not eligible for the list were non-American entries The Artist (which also received special recognition) and Tinker Tailor Solider Spy. I’d say the biggest winners of the day are Dragon Tattoo and Bridesmaids, while Extremely Loud’s exclusion doesn’t bode well for its chances in the coming weeks. After the film failed to screen in time for the National Board of Review and New York Film Critics Circle voting, the AFI was one of the first groups to see it for awards consideration.