Awards season momentum is now in full swing as studios vie for the precious prizes from critical voting bodies and the various guilds/collectives in Hollywood. Just yesterday the National Board of Review named their top 10 movies of the year, giving the top prize to Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, with no Marvel or DC movies making the cut. Another list of the best in film for the year was release today as the American Film Institute (AFI) debuted their top 10 films for the year, with none other than Todd Phillips' Joker landing on their list of movies of the year.
Joker was joined in the top 10 by other notable 2019 releases including 1917, The Farewell, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Knives Out, Little Women, Marriage Story, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, and Richard Jewell. With the inclusion of Joker, this marks the third year in a row that a comic book/superhero movie has been included on the list with Black Panther making the cut in 2018 and Wonder Woman doing the same in 2017. A variety of other films in this realm have also been included throughout the AFI awards lifetime including The Dark Knight Rises in 2012, both Iron Man and The Dark Knight in 2008, plus The Incredibles and Spider-Man 2 in 2004. The graphic novel-based A History of Violence was also honored in 2005 along with American Splendor in 2003.
Unlike The Oscars or The Golden Globes, the AFI Awards are selected by a small jury of people rather than a large voting body. The selections are made based on the following criteria: Best advance the art of the moving image, Enhance the rich cultural heritage of America’s art form, Inspire audiences and artists alike, And/or make a mark on American society. This year's jury who selected Joker included Thelma & Louise screenwriter Callie Khouri, Historian Leonard Maltin, and critics from Rolling Stone, NPR, and The Boston Globe, among others.
The Joaquin Phoenix-led Joker, an R-rated origin story for the infamous Batman villain, has so far grossed over $1 billion worldwide to become just Warner Bros.' fourth DC Comics-inspired film to reach the milestone alongside The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises and Aquaman. The once controversial Joker overcame worries the film might spark instances of real-life violence inspired by its titular character, who descends into madness and becomes an icon of the downtrodden in crime-ridden Gotham City.
Joker will debut on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray on January 7.