The American Film Institute (AFI) has chosen an eclectic collecting of films ranging from Birdman to Unbroken as its top 2014 picks. All of these are already in the reckoning for top Hollywood awards.
Breaking the traditional selection of 10 films for the first time, the annual AFI list compiled 11 picks, including American Sniper, Boyhood, Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, Interstellar, Into the Woods, Nightcrawler, Selma and Whiplash.
Unbroken, based on the life of Olympian Louis Zamperini and directed by Angelina Jolie, earned its first notable awards mention, as well as Disney's upcoming musical Into the Woods and Christopher Nolan's space fantasy Interstellar.Richard Linklater's Boyhood, filmed over 12 years and following a boy's coming-of-age tale, was awarded best picture by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association over the weekend and won best film, director and supporting actress at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards last week.
The AFI selections, made by a jury of AFI members, scholars, TV and film artists and critics, come ahead of the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe nominations this week.
The three sets of picks often indicate the frontrunners for February's Oscars top categories. The 2015 Oscar nominations will be announced on January 15.
"This is the first time in AFI awards history that the voting procedure - including tiebreakers - has resulted in the inclusion of 11 motion picture honorees," the organization said.
HBO's fantasy epic Game of Thrones, FX Networks' Cold War spy drama The Americans and Netflix's prison comedy Orange Is the New Black also returned to the list this year.
New additions rounding out the picks were FX's dark comedy Fargo, HBO's techie comedy Silicon Valley, ABC's legal thriller How to Get Away with Murder, The CW's coming of age comedy Jane the Virgin, Cinemax's period doctor drama The Knick and Amazon Studios' LGBT comedy Transparent.