Dennis Cozzalio 2011

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Since 2004 Dennis Cozzalio has written Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, a blog about movies and other elements of the real world, from a bunker somewhere in Glendale, California, where he has been embedded since 1998. Long ago and far away (in Ashland, Oregon, from 1982-1984), he was actually paid to write movie reviews, for the city newspaper The Ashland Daily Tidings. But for the moment SLIFR remains a "labor of love" supplemented by the occasional shekel earned from freelance assignments. Despite the increasing distraction of everyday responsibilities, Dennis strives to keep the blog fresh even when posts come less frequently than he would like, and he maintains a healthy interest in both film criticism and the movies themselves as viable expressions of artistic sensibility. He also believes that no movie should be disqualified from the possibility of quality based on preconceptions alone or glorified based solely on heightened expectations. These are points of view which he sincerely hopes are reflected by his blog on a daily basis.  Dennis has been happily married since 1993 and has two lovely daughters and the cherished memory of one son as a result. He earned a teaching credential and his Masters in Cross-cultural Education in 2009, which he hopes will result in a new career as a elementary schoolteacher sometime in the very near future. But for now there are the movies, and more specifically the Muriels, and that, as a stoic and soulful farmer once said to his prize sheep-pig, will do.

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Best Feature-Length Film 
1. WAR HORSE
2. POETRY
3. MEEK’S CUTOFF
4. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO.
5. MELANCHOLIA 
6. THE GUARD
7. TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY
8. TROLLHUNTER
9. HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2
10. RANGO

Best Lead Performance, Male
1. BRENDAN GLEESON The Guard
2. GARY OLDMAN Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
3. JOHNNY DEPP Rango
4. PAUL RUDD Our Idiot Brother
5. PAUL GIAMATTI Win Win

Best Lead Performance, Female
1. VIOLA DAVIS The Help
2. YUN JUNG-HEE Poetry
3. ROONEY MARA The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
4. ADEPERO ODUYE Pariah   
5. KIRSTEN DUNST Melancholia

Best Supporting Performance, Male
1. ALAN RICKMAN Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
2. PETER MULLAN War Horse
3. NICK NOLTE Warrior
4. LIAM CUNNINGHAM The Guard
5. JEREMY IRONS Margin Call

Best Supporting Performance, Female
1. MELISSA McCARTHY Bridesmaids
2. OCTAVIA SPENCER The Help
3. ELIZABETH BANKS Our Idiot Brother
4. ELLE FANNING Super 8
5. EMILY WATSON War Horse

Best Direction
1. STEVEN SPIELBERG War Horse
2. LEE CHANG-DONG Poetry
3. KELLY REICHARDT Meek’s Cutoff
4. DAVID FINCHER The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
5. LARS VON TRIER Melancholia

Best Screenplay
1. THE GUARD
2. WAR HORSE
3. TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY
4. MARGIN CALL
5. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

Best Cinematography
1. WAR HORSE 
2. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
3. MELANCHOLIA
4. TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY
5. MEEK’S CUTOFF

Best Editing 
1. WAR HORSE
2. TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY
3. SENNA
4. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
5. HANNA

Best Music 
1. RANGO Hans Zimmer
2. WAR HORSE John Williams
3. CONTAGION Cliff Martinez
4. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
5. TOWER HEIST Christophe Beck

Best Cinematic Moment

1. American detective Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) is introduced to Sergeant Gerry Doyle and his squad at the beginning of THE GUARD: “I’m Irish. Racism is part of my culture.”

2. The bungled assassination attempt that opens TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY, leaving particularly awful collateral damage: A mother sits with her baby still suckling at her breast, despite the bullet hole in the now-lifeless woman’s temple.

3. The run-through just before the shoot at the train station in SUPER 8, when the winsome, distant Alice (Elle Fanning) accesses hidden emotions that floor her crew and cast mates, just before that train pulls in and steals her thunder. The scene is like a miniature version of Naomi Watts’ revelatory rehearsal in MULHOLLAND DRIVE.  

4. BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK: Asked about the role of religious observance in his life, the titular subject lowers his head and retreats into an uncomfortably long silence, from which he eventually emerges and offers some hesitant connections between the ritual of church and his family’s working-class background. It’s an emotionally devastating moment that speaks to conflicts well-hidden whose presence, however briefly glimpsed, offers sublime dimensions that accent the sensitivity of the documentary as a whole.

5. WAR HORSE: A lap dissolve from a swatch of stitching laid across Emily Watson’s lap to her son toiling over a rocky patch of land, the rough rows of the field where the boy toils in hopes of saving his beloved horse from being sold matching almost precisely the rows being set down by the mother’s own core, strength and resolve transferred. 

6. TOWER HEIST: An innuendo-laden would-be seduction staged over the tumblers of an ostensibly uncrackable safe by a saucy Gabourey Sidibe and a more-interested-than-you-might-have-guessed Eddie Murphy. Sidibe: “You married?” Murphy: “No, I ain’t married.” (Eyebrow arches. He looks her up and down quickly.) “What’s up?”

7. WAR HORSE: Two German soldiers escape their regiment with Joey the horse and find refuge in the windmill of a nearby farm. By the first break of light they are discovered and made to stand in the glaring headlights of a row of military vehicles for their firing squad execution, the moment of death obscured from our elevated view by the perfectly timed passage of one of the windmill’s blades.

8. POETRY: A woman, attempting to learn to express herself through poetry, is struggling with the process of craft. When she is told that her grandson has participated with other boys in a heinous assault on a young village girl who subsequently killed herself, rather than react with histrionic disbelief she wanders, stunned, away from the group of parents gathered to discuss the event and stumbles toward a bush of flowers whose color, she now notices with horror, is blood red.

9. HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 2: The revelation, immediately following his death, of the source of Professor Severus Snape’s torn allegiance and who he really was. This is the culmination of a brilliant performance by Alan Rickman that has stretched teasingly, tantalizingly, pleasurably over eight movies.

10. TROLLHUNTER: A nocturnal encounter with giant monsters on a lonely highway bridge perfect encapsulates the movie’s fearsome fairy tale-inspired sensibility and the primal appeal of its relatively low-tech, high-impact effects.

Best Cinematic Breakthrough
1. Viola Davis 
2. J.C. Chandor
3. Rooney Mara
4. Joe Cornish
5. Elle Fanning

Best Body of Work 
1. Steven Spielberg
2. Jessica Chastain
3. Andy Serkis
4. Joe Cornish
5. Tom Hardy

Best Ensemble Performance 
1. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
2. The Help 
3. Our Idiot Brother
4. Bridesmaids
5. Margin Call

10th Anniversary Award, Best Feature Film 2001
1. GOSFORD PARK (Robert Altman)
2. MULHOLLAN DR. (David Lynch)
3. SPIRITED AWAY (Hayao Miyazaki)
4. A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (Steven Spielberg)
5. THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE (Joel Coen)

25th Anniversary Award, Best Feature Film 1986 
1. BLUE VELVET (David Lynch) 
2. THE FLY (David Cronenberg)
3. TAMPOPO (Juzo Itami)
4. SOMETHING WILD (Jonathan Demme)
5. THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE PART 2 (Tobe Hooper)

50th Anniversary Award, Best Feature Film 1961
1. ONE TWO THREE (Billy Wilder)
2. YOJIMBO (Akira Kurosawa)
3. VIRIDIANIA (Luis Bunuel)
4. VICTIM (Joseph Losey)
5. A WOMAN IS A WOMAN (Jean-Luc Godard)

Special Award: Best Film of the 1990s
1. SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER AND UNCUT (Matt Stone, Trey Parker; 1999)
2. BASEBALL (Ken Burns; 1994)
3. NIXON (Oliver Stone; 1995)
4. JACKIE BROWN (Quentin Tarantino; 1997)
5. COBB (Ron Shelton; 1994)
6. NAKED (Mike Leigh; 1993)
7. GROUNDHOG DAY (Harold Ramis; 1993)
8. BABE: PIG IN THE CITY (George Miller; 1998)
9. ED WOOD (Tim Burton; 1994) 
10. THE BUTCHER BOY (Neil Jordan; 1998)

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