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AFI picks top 10 for 2009

'Coraline,' 'Precious,' 'Sugar' make list

The American Film Institute announced Sunday its official selection for the 10th annual AFI Awards, including the top 10 in both film and TV.

Org’s film picks, in alphabetical order, are “Coraline,” “The Hangover,” “The Hurt Locker,” “The Messenger,” “Precious,” “A Serious Man,” “A Single Man,” “Sugar,” “Up” and “Up in the Air.”

This year, the announcement of the list precedes the Golden Globe nominations, which will be announced Tuesday, but there may well be some overlap between the two orgs. Both “Up in the Air” and “The Hurt Locker” have topped some awards, including the National Board of Review and the L.A. film critics, respectively.

Mentions for toons “Coraline” and “Up,” along with Warner Bros.’ hit comedy “The Hangover,” could also mean good news for genre pics, especially given Oscar’s best pic expansion.

Absent from the list were Clint Eastwood’s latest drama, “Invictus,” and James Cameron’s “Avatar,” which was named best pic Sunday by the New York Film Critics Online.

On the TV side, AFI put the spotlight on “The Big Bang Theory,” “Big Love,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Glee,” “Mad Men,” “Modern Family,” “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Party Down” and “True Blood.”

AFI spread the wealth among freshman skeins that have generated strong ratings and critical buzz, namely Fox’s “Glee,” ABC’s “Modern Family” and Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie,” as well as lower-profile frosh such as HBO’s “No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” and Starz’s “Party Down.” It also highlighted critical faves that have been largely snubbed by Emmy voters in recent years, including NBC/DirecTV’s “Friday Night Lights,” HBO’s “True Blood” and CBS’ “Big Bang Theory.”

AMC’s “Mad Men” is the only repeat mention from last year’s list.

Kudos are determined by separate 13-person juries for film and TV. One of the criteria is “significant creative and/or production elements from the United States.”

Norman Jewison served as chair on the film jury, while writer-producer Neal Baer chaired the TV side.

Org will honor the creative ensembles of its selected film and TV shows at the Four Seasons Hotel in L.A.

AFI’s Top 10 Films of 2009

  • “Coraline”
  • “The Hangover”
  • “The Hurt Locker”
  • “The Messenger”
  • “Precious: Based On The Novel ‘Push’ By Sapphire”
  • “A Serious Man”
  • “A Single Man”
  • “Sugar”
  • “Up”
  • “Up In The Air”

AFI’s Top 10 TV Shows of 2009

  • “The Big Bang Theory
  • “Big Love
  • “Friday Night Lights
  • “Glee
  • “Mad Men
  • “Modern Family
  • “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
  • “Nurse Jackie
  • “Party Down
  • “True Blood”

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