Dennis Cozzalio 2012

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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. HOLY MOTORS
2. THE KID WITH A BIKE
3. LINCOLN
4. LIFE OF PI
5. THE IMPOSTER
6. HAYWIRE
7. OSLO, AUGUST 31st
8. KILLER JOE
9. PERFECT SENSE
10. SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS

Best Lead Performance, Male
1. DANIEL DAY-LEWIS Lincoln 
2. JACK BLACK Bernie
3. DENIS LAVANT Holy Motors
4. JOHNNY DEPP Dark Shadows 
5. JOHN HAWKES The Sessions
 
Best Lead Performance, Female *****
1. RACHEL WEISZ The Deep Blue Sea
2. EVA GREEN Perfect Sense
3. JENNIFER LAWRENCE The Hunger Games
4. KELLY MACDONALD Brave
5. KATY PERRY Katy Perry: Part of Me

Best Supporting Performance, Male
1. LEONARDO DI CAPRIO Django Unchained
2. JAMES SPADER Lincoln 
3. TOMMY LEE JONES Lincoln 
4. SCOOT McNAIRY Killing Them Softly 
5. EZRA MILLER The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Best Supporting Performance, Female
1. EVA GREEN Dark Shadows 
2. SALMA HAYEK Savages
3. HELENA BONHAM CARTER Dark Shadows 
4. SHIRLEY MACLAINE Bernie
5. MILA KUNIS Ted

Best Direction
1. LEOS CARAX Holy Motors
2. JEAN-PIERRE DARDENNE, LUC DARDENNE The Kid with a  Bike
3. WILLIAM FRIEDKIN Killer Joe
4. ANG LEE Life of Pi
5. STEVEN SPIELBERG Lincoln

Best Screenplay
1. LINCOLN Tony Kushner
2. SEVEN PSYCHOPATTHS Martin McDonagh
3. BERNIE Skip Hollandsworth, Richard Linklater
4. KILLER JOE Tracy Letts
5. PERFECT SENSE Kim Fupz Aakeson

Best Cinematography
1. LIFE OF PI Claudio Miranda
2. DARK SHADOWS Bruno Delbonnel
3. HOLY MOTORS Carline Champetier
4. SAVAGES Daniel Mindel
5. PREMIUM RUSH Mitchell Amundsen

Best Editing
1. LINCOLN Michael Kahn
2. KILLING THEM SOFTLY John Paul Horstmann, Brian A. Kates
3. CLOUD ATLAS Alexander Berner
4. LOOPER Bob Ducsay
5. HAYWIRE Mary Ann Bernard (Steven Soderbergh)

Best Music
1. HAYWIRE David Holmes
2. DARK SHADOWS Danny Elfman, Alice Cooper
3. CLOUD ATLAS Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek, Tom Tykwer
4. SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN Rodriguez
5. KATY PERRY: PART OF ME

Best Cinematic Moment
1. Under the tree: Is he or isn’t he? THE KID WITH A BIKE
2. Motion capture HOLY MOTORS
3. The ship sinks LIFE OF PI
4. The Tale of the Quaker, or What’s Under the Cravat? SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS
5. “I guess I didn’t have to worry about Nicholas Barclay walking in the door anymore…” THE IMPOSTER
6. Two endings SAVAGES
7. Havin’ some K-Fried C KILLER JOE
8. Which way should I go? PREMIUM RUSH
9. The Ballad of Dwight Frye (“Go… watch… the Cooper woman.”) DARK SHADOWS
10. Mongo fantasy and the Flash freeze frame TED

Best Cinematic Breakthrough
1. Steven Chbosky
2. Bart Layton
3. Nicholas McCarthy

Best Body of Work
1. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
2. Eva Green
3. Matthew McConaughey
4. James Spader

Best Ensemble Performance
1. SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS
2. KILLER JOE
3. LINCOLN
4. THE THREE STOOGES
5. THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER

10th Anniversary Award, Best Feature Film 2002
1. FEMME FATALE
2. 25th HOUR
3. TALK TO HER
4. 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE
5. CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

25th Anniversary Award, Best Feature Film 1987
1. HOPE AND GLORY
2. THE DEAD
3. EMPIRE OF THE SUN
4. WITHNAIL AND I
5. SAMMY AND ROSIE GET LAID

50th Anniversary Award, Best Feature Film 1962
1. THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL
2. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
3. LOLITA
4. RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY
5. HELL IS FOR HEROES

Special Award: Best Film of the 1970s
1. NASHVILLE (Robert Altman; 1975)
2. THE GODFATHER PART II (Francis Ford Coppola; 1974)
3. AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD (Werner Herzog; 1972)
4. JEANNE DIELMAN, 23 QUAI DU COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES (Chantal Akerman; 1975)
5. CARRIE (Brian De Palma; 1976)
6. HARLAN COUNTY USA (Barbra Kopple; 1976)
7. TAXI DRIVER (Martin Scorsese; 1976)
8. TWO-LANE BLACKTOP (Monte Hellman; 1971)
9. THE DEVILS (Ken Russell; 1971)
10. DOG DAY AFTERNOON (Sidney Lumet; 1975)


*****  This was the toughest time I’ve ever had finding five worthy candidates for a Best Actress. It might have been nominally easier had I seen more good performances by lead actresses this year, but most of the really memorable appearances by females that I saw were in supporting roles. Of the official Oscar nominees I have only seen BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, but no matter how right she may have been for the part I just can’t bring myself to cast a vote for Quvenzhane Wallis. Of course this means that I also have yet to see AMOUR, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, THE IMPOSSIBLE or ZERO DARK THIRTY…

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