'Hangover,' 'Up' on AFI's top 10 film list
'Avatar' fails to make cut; 'Mad Men,' 'Big Bang' cited in TVThe American Film Institute largely avoided bigger studio movies and focused on smaller indie efforts as it compiled its list of the year's top 10 movies.
Announced on Sunday, the list, devoted to U.S. productions, included Pixar/Disney's 3D-animated "Up" (the No. 3 film to date with $293 million in domestic grosses) and Warner Bros.' boys-gone-wild comedy "The Hangover" (No. 4 with $277 million) but did not include James Cameron's "Avatar," which already is being lauded for its groundbreaking effects work.
Instead, the 13-person AFI jury opted for a second 3D-animated film, "Coraline"; two movies dealing with the impact of the Iraq War, "The Hurt Locker" and "The Messenger"; "Precious," the tale of an abused inner-city teenager; "A Serious Man," which follows a Job-like character as he faces life's setbacks; "A Single Man," which centers on a gay widower; "Sugar," a sports drama about a Dominican-born baseball player; and "Up in the Air," which focuses on a corporate-downsizing expert.
"Mad Men" was the only program that also figured on the AFI's 2008 list.
The AFI Awards, given to the creative ensembles behind each film and TV program, will be honored Jan. 15 during a luncheon at the Four Seasons in Los Angeles. Sponsor Hewlett-Packard will create scholarships at the AFI Conservatory to mark the event.
The film jury was chaired by producer-director Norman Jewison and consisted of actor Sean Astin, writer Dustin Lance Black, USC's Leo Braudy, author Mark Harris, director Patty Jenkins, author Leonard Maltin, journalist Elvis Mitchell, UCLA's Chon Noriega, producer Tom Pollock, journalist Claudia Puig, author Richard Schickel and critic Lisa Schwarzbaum.
The TV jury was chaired by writer-producer Neal Baer and included producer Stanley Brooks, Arizona State's Bambi Haggins, UC Santa Cruz's L.S. Kim, Variety's Brian Lowry, writer-producer David Milch, UC Santa Barbara's Lisa Parks, actor C.C.H. Pounder, journalists Matt Roush and Maureen Ryan, USC's Ellen Seiter, TV Academy president John Shaffner and Syracuse University's Robert Thompson.