'Gravity,' 'American Hustle' among AFI's top films of 2013

Mon Dec 9, 2013 4:23pm EST
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By Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Existential outer-space thriller "Gravity," corruption tale "American Hustle" and independent drama "Fruitvale Station" are among the 10 best films of the year announced by the American Film Institute (AFI) on Monday, kicking off a key week in Hollywood's awards season.

The annual AFI list also picked Somali piracy thriller "Captain Phillips," slavery drama "12 Years a Slave," comedy-drama "Nebraska," futuristic romance "Her," Disney-history drama "Saving Mr. Banks," folk music comedy-drama "Inside Llewyn David" and Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" as the year's top films.

"American Hustle," "Her," and "Gravity" have been chosen as best picture by three top critics' groups in the last week, while "12 Years a Slave" won the top award at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

"Fruitvale Station," the debut feature film from 27-year-old Ryan Coogler that touches on race and the real-life shooting death of a young black man in Oakland, Calif., has won universal critical acclaim as well as awards at the Sundance and Cannes film festivals.

Notable films tabbed as Oscar contenders but left off the AFI list, which honors the year's best films but does not select an overall winner, were White House historical fiction story "The Butler" and dysfunctional family drama "August: Osage County."

AFI's top film picks, selected by critics, scholars, TV and film artists and AFI trustees, come ahead of the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe nominations on Wednesday and Thursday.

All three sets of picks are likely to suggest films that will be in the running for the Academy Awards' best picture Oscar in March. Oscar nominations will be announced on January 16.

The AFI also chose its top 10 television shows of the year, which included political thriller "House of Cards" and prison comedy "Orange Is the New Black" from Internet streaming service Netflix.   Continued...

Actors George Clooney and Sandra Bullock arrive for the film premiere of "Gravity" in New York October 1, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly