top ten films and television programs of 2022 – cpn

The American Film Institute has named their top ten films and television programs of 2022, giving them all a boost in the awards conversation. And that’s clearly what the prize is intended for, given their resolutely mainstream Oscar and Emmy buzz focused lists each year (in their early years they were sometimes a bit more adventurous though still mainstream). The two most “daring” choices for films, if you can call them that, are Nope and She Said, neither of which have a huge amount of Oscar buzz at the moment, though Nope has been performing well in early top ten list / precursor season.

The AFI lists in film and television and some commentary after the jump…

AFI Movies of the Year


“Avatar: The Way of Water”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”
“The Fabelmans”
“She Said”
“Top Gun: Maverick”
“The Woman King”
“Women Talking”

All good pictures if *very* safe as choices go. Though we like She Said (solid journalism drama) but calling it one of the ten best films of the year is, let’s say, generous! Maybe if the award were “top ten American movies with the most important subject matter of the year” it would make more sense. The only major Best Picture hopefuls they left out were Babylon, Glass Onion , and Pinocchio. But of course some BP hopefuls like Empire of Light (UK), Living (UK), Decision to Leave (South Korea), and Triangle of Sadness (Sweden) weren’t eligible as they aren’t American productions.

Last year the AFI list matched Oscar’s eventual Best Picture list 8/10 with Tick Tick Boom and Tragedy of Macbeth falling off on nomination morning to non-American pictures Belfast (UK) and Drive My Car (Japan).

AFI Special Award


“The Banshees of Inisherin”
Because the AFI is so obsessed with the Oscar buzz, they always offer a special award for an Oscar or Emmy contender that falls outside of their jurisdiction (American cinema / television). This year that honor is for Martin McDonagh’s dark metaphorical comedy about the abrupt end of a friendship. We’d argue that of all films in the Oscar race this one currently feels the sturdiest in that it doesn’t have loud detractors and keeps hitting every target in the battle for precursor kudos (Previous films they honored in this “special” way since they couldn’t in their top ten list were Best Picture winner Parasite and Best Picture nominees Belfast and Roma)

AFI Television Programs of the Year


“Abbott Elementary”
“The Bear”
“Better Call Saul” (5th appearance on this annual list)
“Hacks” (repeating from last year’s list)
“Reservation Dogs” (repeating from last year’s list)
“Somebody Somewhere”
“The White Lotus” (repeating from last year’s list)

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