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Awards Season: AFI Awards 2020 Honourees – My Reactions

The AFI Awards Honourees have just been announced for this year. Full details of all of the awards, including their TV selections, can be found here.

Here are the selections for their film honourees.

AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR
DA 5 BLOODS
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
MANK
MINARI
NOMADLAND
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI…
SOUL
SOUND OF METAL
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

AFI SPECIAL AWARD
HAMILTON

My initial reaction to these nominations were not that surprising. Whilst I love that films such as Soul and Minari made the list, this feels like a very safe top ten. I almost wish there was a push for some of the critic’s picks, such as I’m thinking of ending things and Never Rarely Sometimes Always, but this list confirms to me the major contenders that are still definitely in play.

Judas and the Black Messiah is a late breaker, but I seriously expect this to be the start of what will be many nominations for this film. Meanwhile, it is nice to see that Da 5 Bloods is still gaining momentum and is getting these nominations. It may only be January in a race that won’t end for another three months, but there is finally consensus being made about the Best Picture race.

Looking at what missed, it is important to look at the eligibility of these awards. To be considered, the film must be an American production. Films such as The Father and Promising Young Woman are listed under British productions, so they are not eligible for the awards. This also goes for any of the International Feature contenders, such as Another Round.

If there are any films that might have been able to get a nomination here, it would have been News of the World or potentially Malcolm & Marie. Whilst the latter has only just started being distributed to voters, it seems like News of the World is out of the race for Best Picture unless it starts to gain momentum later on.

What do you make of these nominees? Do you wish that AFI took a bigger risk with some of their choices? Let me know in the comments section and let’s have a discussion.

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