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'The Dark Knight Rises' Unsurprisingly Among AFI Awards Top Ten Movies

The Dark Knight Rises AFI Awards Christian BaleThe Dark Knight Rises included among top ten films: AFI Awards 2012

The list of AFI Award winners was announced earlier today. The AFI Awards consist of two categories, both covering only U.S.-made productions: “AFI Movies of the Year” and “AFI TV Programs of the Year.” That's it. Batman fans can rejoice, as Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises is one of the films on the AFI's shortlist. On the other hand, independent / low-budget cinema fans will be none too happy. (The Dark Knight Rises Christian Bale.)

In addition to The Dark Knight Rises, which stars Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, and Marion Cotillard, the AFI's other top ten movies are the following: Ben Affleck's Argo, with Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, and John Goodman; Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild, with Quvenzhané Wallis; Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, and Jamie Foxx; Tom Hooper's Les Misérables, with Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, and Eddie Redmayne; and Ang Lee's Life of Pi, with Irrfan Khan, Tabu, and Tobey Maguire.

Also: Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, with Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, and Tommy Lee Jones; Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, with Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, and Frances McDormand; David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook, with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro; and Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty, with Jessica Chastain and Jason Clarke.

What? No The Avengers? Nope. The AFI Awards voters tend to love big-studio movies – check out the list of voters below – but there are only ten slots each year. The super-blockbuster slot was taken up by The Dark Knight Rises. As for this year's token independent film, that's Beasts of the Southern Wild.

The Master left out

According to the American Film Institute's press release, AFI Awards “honorees are selected based on works which 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.” Paul Thomas Anderson's box office disappointment The Master, for one, apparently wasn't deemed all that “advancing,” “enhancing,” or “marking.”

For the record, the winners in the television category were American Horror Story: Asylum, Breaking Bad, Game Change, Game of Thrones, Girls, Homeland, Louie, Mad Men, Modern Family, and The Walking Dead.

AFI Board of Trustees Vice Chair Tom Pollock, former Vice Chairman of MCA and Chairman of Universal Pictures, presided over the film jury. Voters (unclear which were for movies, which for TV) included Angela Bassett, Brad Bird, Chris Carter, Marta Kauffman, Octavia Spencer, AFI Board of Trustees members, and several film critics.

A luncheon in honor of the AFI Award winners will be held on Friday, January 11, 2013, in Los Angeles.

The Dark Knight Rises Christian Bale image: Warner Bros.

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