A comic book origin story, a World War I epic and a 19th-century adaptation of an American classic were among the 10 films praised by the American Film Institute as the very best of 2019.

“Joker,” “1917” and “Little Women” were three of the 10 movies making the AFI cut. Also included were “Richard Jewell,” “Marriage Story,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Knives Out,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “The Farewell” and “The Irishman.”

Diana Lin, left, and Awkwafina in a scene from the film “The Farewell.” Photo courtesy of A24

The institute, which was founded in 1967, also selected its 10 best TV programs of 2019. The list, which includes comedies, dramas and limited series, praised Emmy favorites “Game of Thrones,” “The Crown” and “Veep,” while singling out 2019 debuts “Watchmen,” “Fosse/Verdon” and “When They See Us.”

Only two programs made the cut in both 2018 and 2019 — HBO’s corporate drama “Succession” and FX’s ballroom culture series “Pose.”

Asante Blackk as Kevin Richardson in Netflix’s “When They See Us.” Photo by Atsushi Nishijima, Netflix

Rounding out the TV list were “Chernobyl” and “Unbelievable.”

While an AFI selection is often a strong indicator for a potential Best Picture Academy Award nomination, recent history shows it’s no slam dunk.

Of the 10 films AFI singled out in 2018, only five received top Academy Award consideration, including “A Star Is Born,” “Black Panther” and eventual winner “Green Book.” Among the AFI recipients that were shunned by Oscar voters were “Eighth Grade,” “A Quiet Place” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

The AFI, which only cites American films, offered special shout-outs to both the South Korean film “Parasite” and British comedy series “Fleabag.”

“Parasite,” a heavy Oscar contender, snagged the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and “Fleabag” scooped up the 2019 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series.


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