Oscars frontrunners ‘Boyhood,’ ‘Selma,’ ‘Birdman’ among AFI top 11 American movies

The AFI expanded its list of top American films to 11 this year and it includes all of our likeliest Oscar contenders for Best Picture but for “Gone Girl” and the ineligible British import “The Theory of Everything

American Sniper
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods” 

UPDATED: Experts’ Oscars predictions in 19 categories

This recognition is a big boost for the indie crime drama “Nightcrawler” as well as the studio pictures “American Sniper” and “Into the Woods,” which sit just outside our top 10 Oscar contenders.  

Surprisingly, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which did well with the L.A. film critics on Sunday, was not included on this expanded roster. Also MIA were NBR champ “A Most Violent Year” and “Wild,” which just opened to great reviews.

However such snubs do not rules these films out of contention. 

Last year, the AFI foresaw seven of the nine Best Picture nominees, missing only “Dallas Buyers Club” and the Brit hit “Philomena.”

In 2012, the AFI named seven of the eventual nine Best Picture nominees, missing only the Gallic import “Amour” and the late release “Django Unchained.” 

See latest Oscar rankings when the Experts’ predictions are combined

In 2011, eventual Oscar Best Picture winner “The Artist” was ineligible as it was a French film but it received honorary mention. In 2010, the AFI named nine of the eventual 10 Best Picture nominees, with only the champ — British-made “The King’s Speech” — missing from the list. It too received a special prize. In 2009, the AFI snubbed eventual Best Picture nominees “Avatar” and “Inglourious Basterds.” Back in in 2006, the AFI failed to include eventual Oscar Best Picture champ “The Departed” among its top 10. 

These films, along with the winners of the TV awards, will be feted during a Jan. 9 luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.

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