The American Film Institute has named its top films of 2013, offering up one of the most accurate pictures so far of the likely nominees for next year's Oscar for best film.
The AFI list is, in alphabetical order:
Inside Llewyn Davis
Saving Mr Banks
Twelve Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street.
Last year eight out of the 10 films chosen by the institute were also named by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the best picture category. Oscars experts are predicting that this year's list of Academy award nominees could be shorter, so the AFI rundown is bad news indeed for missing awards-season hopefuls such as Lee Daniels's The Butler, Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, and the Aids drama Dallas Buyers Club. Other high-profile films which have failed to make the list include the starry stage adaptation August: Osage County, Robert Redford's solo yachtsman tale All Is Lost, and escaped convict drama Labor Day, which stars Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin.
Of those in this year's list, Twelve Years a Slave, American Hustle, Gravity and Her have already picked up prizes from critics bodies, so would be predicted to grab a best-picture nomination. Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo Di Caprio, is almost certain of a nod following a hugely positive reaction to a recent screening for Oscars voters, while Paul Greengrass's London film festival hit Captain Phillips is also considered a leading contender. Fruitvale Station, Inside Llewyn Davis and Nebraska might be considered outside bets, though all three films have picked up garlands at film festivals such as Cannes and Sundance.
The chosen movies are intended to be those 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".
They are joined by a separate television list which features The Americans, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Good Wife, House of Cards, Mad Men, Masters of Sex, Orange Is the New Black, Scandal and Veep. The selections are determined by a jury of institute members and trustees, scholars, artists and critics.
A less auspicious, but potentially just as accurate, picture of next year's Oscars hopefuls emerged yesterday when the New York Post revealed that Las Vegas bookmakers are heralding the chances of Steve McQueen's slavery drama Twelve Years a Slave. Online betting site Bovada has the harrowing 19th-century tale down as a 2/3 favourite to beat Gravity, American Hustle, Saving Mr Banks and Captain Phillips to the best picture prize.
The 2014 Oscars, meanwhile, will be staged on 2 March, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre in the Hollywood.
• Read the Guardian team's 10 best films of 2013=
• Read Time's 10 worst films of the year list