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Best films of 2020: Soul, Mank and Nomadland in the American Film Institute’s ranking – Actus Ciné

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


It’s a fact that no one will dispute: the past year has been more than special for the 7th Art. Not to say complicated. But there are still plans 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. That is 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 a little more its favorite status, 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 pass through cinemas here), including four for Netflix alone, streaming platforms are indeed more present there 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 latest baby) alongside Minari and its history. 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 big winner is hiding in the list below.

The best films 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 rise and tempers flare 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 throws herself into a showdown with her white manager and producer, who are determined to impose their artistic choices on her. While the musicians wait in the rehearsal room, ambitious trumpeter Levee, attracted by Ma’s girlfriend, is determined to make his mark in the music business. Pushing his comrades to confide, he provokes a flood of anecdotes, truths and lies that will forever change 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 caused his death, was carried out by the FBI and the Chicago police on the orders of undercover agent William O’Neal.


In this caustic take on 1930s Hollywood, screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, an inveterate alcoholic with acerbic eyes, attempts to complete the script for Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane in time.


A Korean-American family decides to settle in 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 that this new life in the Ozarks offers, the family will show incredible resilience and will learn what it really means to be at home.


After the economic collapse of the workers’ town in Nevada where she lived, Fern decides to hit the road in her converted van and adopt a nomadic life in modern times, breaking with the standards of today’s society. True nomads embody Fern’s comrades and mentors and accompany her in her 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 a confrontation, its organizers are accused of conspiracy and incitement to revolt.


Jazz enthusiast and music teacher in a college, Joe Gardner finally has the opportunity to fulfill his dream: to play in the best jazz club in New York. But an unfortunate misstep rushes him into the “Great Before” – a fantastical place where new souls gain 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 point of living a human life. Desperately trying to show 22 just how great existence is, Joe may just uncover the answers to some of the most important questions about the meaning of life.


Ruben and Lou, together in town and on stage, criss-cross the United States between two concerts. One evening, Ruben is bothered by tinnitus, and a doctor tells him that he will soon be deaf. Distraught, and faced with his old demons, Ruben will have to make a decision that will change his life forever.

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