Best movies of 2020: Soul, Mank and Nomadland ranked by the American Film Institute

“Soul”, “Nomadland”, “Minari”, “Mank”… Discover the list of the ten best films of 2020 established by the American Film Institute.

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It is a fact that no one will dispute: the past year has been more than special for the 7th Art. Not to say complicated. But it is still planned to honor the best productions that have come out. And while waiting for the Golden Globes and the Oscars, respectively postponed to February 28 and April 25, the American Film Institute has unveiled its traditional top. Ten feature films, listed in alphabetical order, which could be major players in the next awards ceremonies, like Nomadland. Already crowned in Venice then Toronto, Chloé Zhao’s film confirms its status as a favorite a little more, while being one of the few to be released in theaters.

With seven films (including Sound of Metal, broadcast on Amazon Prime Video across the Atlantic but which should go through theaters here), including four for Netflix alone, streaming platforms are indeed more present than ever. , as a symbol of the reversal of the balance of power that took place in 2020. A figure that can even rise to eight with Judas and the Black Messiah, which will be released simultaneously on the big screen and on HBO Max in the United States. Expected in 2021, the latter also illustrates the great place given to diversity in this selection, since there are several feature films worn by black directors and actors (including Soul, Pixar’s last baby) alongside Minari and his story. from an American-Korean family, and that two opuses are directed by women.

If the Oscars will necessarily have a special flavor this year, it is very likely that its future winner is hidden in the list below.

The best movies of 2020 according to the American Film Institute


The story of four African-American veterans who return to Vietnam to find the remains of their leader and a hypothetical buried treasure.


Tensions escalate and spirits heat up during a recording session in 1920s Chicago, while several musicians await the legendary Ma Rainey, avant-garde artist nicknamed “the mother of the blues”. Arriving late, the intrepid and volcanic Ma Rainey embarks on a standoff with her manager and her white producer, determined to impose their artistic choices on her. While the musicians wait in the rehearsal room, ambitious trumpeter Levee, drawn to Ma’s girlfriend, is determined to make his place in the music scene. Pushing his comrades to confide, he provokes a flood of anecdotes, truths and lies which will forever upset the course of their lives …


Focus on the rise of Fred Hampton, African-American political activist, member of the Black Panther Party in Illinois, who died in December 1969 at the age of twenty-one. The assault, which resulted in his death, was carried out by the FBI and Chicago Police on the orders of undercover agent William O’Neal.


In this film which casts a caustic point of view on the Hollywood of the 30s, the screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, inveterate alcoholic with sharp gaze, tries to complete in time the script of Citizen Kane of Orson Welles.


An American-Korean family decides to settle on a small farm in Arkansas to live their “American dream”. The family home changes completely with the arrival of the sneaky, rude, but overly loving grandmother. Between the instability and the challenges of this new life in the Ozarks, the family will show incredible resilience and learn what it really means to be “home”.


After the economic collapse of the working-class city of Nevada where she lived, Fern decides to hit the road in her campervan and adopt a modern nomadic life, breaking with the standards of today’s society. True nomads embody Fern’s comrades and mentors and accompany him in his discovery of the vast expanses of the American West.


Miami, February 25, 1964, the young Cassius Clay (future Mohamed Ali) becomes world boxing champion, heavyweight category. Because of racial segregation, he must celebrate his victory away from other athletes. Surrounded by his friends, activist Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke and football star Jim Brown, Cassius Clay decides to define a new world.


When the demonstration on the sidelines of the 1968 Democratic convention turns into confrontation, its organizers are accused of conspiracy and incitement to revolt.


Passionate about jazz and music teacher in a college, Joe Gardner finally has the opportunity to make his dream come true: to play in the best jazz club in New York. But an unfortunate misstep throws him into the “Great Before” – a fantastic place where new souls acquire their personality, character and uniqueness before being sent to Earth. Determined to get his life back, Joe teams up with 22, a mischievous and witty soul who has never grasped the interest of living a human life. Desperately trying to show 22 how great existence is, Joe may just uncover the answers to the most important questions about the meaning of life.


Ruben and Lou, together in the city as on the stage, crisscross the United States between two concerts. One evening, Ruben is embarrassed by tinnitus, and a doctor tells him that he will soon be deaf. Distraught, and facing his old demons, Ruben will have to make a decision that will change his life forever.

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