"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
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.
[to top of second column]
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.
They were named alongside ABC comedy "Black-ish," HBO's medieval
fantasy "Game of Thrones," Showtime's spy thriller "Homeland," FX's
second season of "Fargo" and Cold War spy series "The Americans."
Advertising drama "Mad Men," which concluded its seven-season run
this year, will receive the AFI Special Award.
Composer John Williams, known for his "Star Wars," "Indiana Jones"
and "Jaws" soundtracks, will receive a lifetime achievement award.
All the films and TV shows will be celebrated at a luncheon on Jan.
8 in Los Angeles.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Jonathan
[© 2015 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2015 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.