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Is Morgan Freeman the best choice for AFI tribute?

October 12, 2010 | 12:49 pm

Some of our forum posters are not impressed that the American Film Institute will bestow its lifetime achievement award upon Morgan Freeman next June. While many posters are pleased with the news, there's a surprising amount of grumbling.

Morgan Freeman American Film Institute Million Dollar Baby news

I don't understand why. Just measuring Freeman's screen accomplishment using Oscar as a yardstick, he's had a praiseworthy career, appearing in three best-picture winners: "Million Dollar Baby" (2004), "Unforgiven" (1992) and "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989). He won best supporting actor for "M$B" (as it's often abbreviated) and was nominated again in supporting for "Street Smart" (1987). He's been nominated three times in lead: "Invictus" (2009), "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994) and "Driving Miss Daisy."

Three of his films are on the American Film Institute's list of "100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time": "Driving Miss Daisy," "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Glory" (1989).

Below are some comments from our message boards. See more here.

Alfred Hitchrock: For what it's worth, my favorite Morgan Freeman performance is "The Shawshank Redemption" (you know, the No. 1 movie on IMDB that film snobs love to hate) ... There, I said it!

GoBlue! This is a great honor for a great American actor! sohappy

Brilliance inmorbid: Never been a Freeman fan. His filmography is overwhelmingly bland (oxymoron).

Streep Fan: Is Olivia De Havilland not interested?

oscarnutlen: Morgan Freeman is a fine actor but his body of work is underwhelming...he isn't a major movie star .... he is basically a character actor...I guess the AFI standards are going down the drain as well as every other award in this country. In a year where he will probably receive his 7th Oscar nomination..Robert Duvall would have been a better choice.

seanflynn: Freeman is a better actor than either Robert Redford and Woody Allen, is a major star, deserves this. That said, this award is given to someone whose presence will sell a lot of tickets and tables. Freeman will sell more than Duvall. That's just the way these things work.

Awardshq: Why all the hate on Morgan Freeman? He is a tremendous actor and is fully deserving of this award.

Junk: This choice is certainly better than giving it to the likes of Michael Douglas and Warren Beatty IMO. Shirley McLaine would have been a great choice this year. But AFI really lost its credibility way back when they started giving film industry's greatest life achievement honors to 40 somethings like Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.

Dr. McPhearson: I did not think he deserved the Oscar for "Million Dollar Baby," but I'm glad that he's getting the AFI award.

Photo: Morgan Freeman in "Million Dollar Baby." Photo credit: Warner Bros.

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