The Dark Knight Rises

Ron Phillips/Warner Bros. Pictures

Is it time to shorten The Dark Knight Rises' very long odds for a Best Picture Oscar? 

The Christopher Nolan blockbuster was among 10 films honored Monday by the American Film Institute's AFI Awards.

A look at what this development and more means for awards season:  

1. The Batman Movie Is Still Totally Doomed: In 2008, the AFI voted The Dark Knight onto its year-end, best-of list. In short, AFI voters are Dark Knight fans, unlike, you know, Oscar voters, who famously snubbed the breakthrough comic-book movie.

2. The Batman Movie, However, Might Not Be as Totally Doomed as You Thought and/or Feared: It is not an insignificant thing to make the AFI cut. Some of the group's voters are also Oscar voters. So, this much we now know: Despite the horror of Aurora, Colo., and despite reports of a less-than-boffo summer Academy screening, there is support for the film.

3. Everything Else You Suspected of Awards Season Is True: Les Misérables will be nominated for Best Picture. So, too, will Argo, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty. All of these front-runners make their obligatory appearances on the AFI list. (Zero Dark Thirty also picked up another top critics' award Monday, from the Washington, D.C., group, if you're keeping track.) Last year, only two Best Picture Oscar nominees weren't honored by the AFI Awards—and one of those non-honorees, which was also the eventual Best Picture winner, The Artist, wasn't eligible on account of its French-ness.  (This year's non-American, ineligible contender is Amour, also from France.)

Here's a complete rundown of the official film selections of the 2012 AFI Awards:

Movie of the Year (in alphabetical order):


Beasts of the Southern Wild

The Dark Knight Rises

Django Unchained

Les Misérables

Life of Pi


Moonrise Kingdom

Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty

The AFI also honors TV series. Here are its selections:

TV Programs of the Year (in alphabetical order):

American Horror Story: Asylum

Breaking Bad

Game Change

Game of Thrones




Mad Men

Modern Family

The Walking Dead

The Dark Knight Rises at a glance

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