'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' among AFI's best films of 2015

Wed Dec 16, 2015 5:56pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" racked up its first award on Wednesday when the American Film Institute named it as one of the 10 best films of the year.

"The Force Awakens," opening in theaters across the world this week, was included in a list alongside awards front-runners such as Wall Street misdeeds comedy "The Big Short" and lesbian romance drama "Carol."

The American Film Institute's top films of the year are selected by critics, scholars, TV and film artists and AFI trustees, and come on the heels of this year's Golden Globe and Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) nominations.

While "Star Wars" did not receive any Globe or SAG nominations, likely due to the fact that voters would not have seen the film, which has been shrouded in secrecy, its AFI nomination makes it a potential contender for February's Oscars ceremony.

Awards voters often shun action-packed and special effects-laden big studio fare in favor of more dramatic and grounded stories. But this year, "Star Wars" was named on AFI's list alongside blockbuster action film "Mad Max: Fury Road" and space adventure "The Martian."

Other films on the list included psychological thriller "Room," Roman Catholic Church newspaper probe "Spotlight," Cold War drama "Bridge of Spies" and Pixar's animated extravaganza "Inside Out" and rap biopic "Straight Outta Compton."

The AFI also selects the year's top 10 best television programs.

AMC's "Breaking Bad" spin-off "Better Call Saul," Fox's hip-hop family saga "Empire," Netflix comedy "Master of None," USA Network's cyber hacker drama "Mr. Robot" and Lifetime's "Unreal," a fictional take on the behind-the-scenes antics of reality show "The Bachelor," were the new shows making the list.   Continued...

A man dressed as a Storm Trooper poses in front of the Grand Rex cinema before the screening of"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in Paris, France, December 16, 2015.    REUTERS/Christian Hartmann