Jim Emerson 2010

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Jim Emerson is a hyphenate who lives in Seattle.  He has been a daily newspaper critic (The Seattle Times, the Orange County Register), an art house exhibitor, a film festival programmer, a screenwriter, a playwright, a dogsitter and a bunch of other things that make him hyphenated.  He was the editor of the Microsoft Cinemania CD-ROM movie encyclopedia and is the founding editor-in-chief of RogerEbert.com and the blog Scanners.  His dogs are Edith Olive Eggplant Dog and Dolores Madeleine Haze Dog.  If he had a tumor, he would name it Marla.

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Best Feature-Length Film
1. The Social Network
2. Sweetgrass
3. Carlos
4. Mother
5. Let Me In
6. True Grit
7. The Ghost Writer
8. The Kids Are All Right
9. Winter's Bone
10. Fish Tank

11. The Killer Inside Me
12. The American
13. Dogtooth
14. Another Year
15. Everyone Else
16. A Prophet
17. October Country
18. Life During Wartime
19. Last Train Home
20. Please Give


Best Lead Performance, Male
1. Tahar Rahim, A Prophet
2. Édgar Ramírez, Carlos
3. Jeff Bridges, True Grit
4. Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
5. Casey Affleck, The Killer Inside Me


Best Lead Performance, Female
1. Hye-ja Kim, Mother
2. Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
3. Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Vincere
4. Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit (sorry, Academy -- it's a LEAD performance)
5. Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right (ditto)



Best Supporting Performance, Male
1. John Hawkes, Winter's Bone
2. Matt Damon, True Grit
3. Oliver Maltman, Another Year
4. Ben Mendelsohn, Animal Kingdom
5. Richard Jenkins, Let Me In

Best Supporting Performance, Female
1. Mia Wasikowska, The Kids Are All Right
2. Olivia Williams, The Ghost Writer
3. Ruth Sheen, Another Year
4. Rebecca Hall, Please Give
5. Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom


Best Direction
1. David Fincher, The Social Network
2. Olivier Assayas, Carlos
3. Joel and Ethan Coen, True Grit
4. Bong Joon-ho, Mother
5. Andrea Arnold, Fish Tank


Best Screenplay
1. Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
2. Joel & Ethan Coen and Charles Portis (novel), True Grit
3. Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, The Kids Are All Right
4. Efthymis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos, Dogtooth
5. Marco Bellocchio and Daniela Ceselli, Vincere

Best Cinematography
1. Roger Deakins, True Grit
2. Daniele Ciprì, Vincere
3. Martin Ruhe, The American
4. Robbie Ryan, Fish Tank
5. Greig Fraser, Let Me In

Best Editing
1. Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter, The Social Network
2. Luc Barnier and Marion Monnier, Carlos
3. Roderick Jaynes, True Grit
4. Nicolas Chaudeurge, Fish Tank
5. Moon Sae-kyoung, Mother


Best Music
1. Carter Burwell, True Grit
2. Tindersticks, White Material
3. Olivier Assayas (and The Feelies, Wire, etc.), Carlos
4. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Social Network
5. Lee Byeong-woo, Mother


Best Cinematic Moment 
1. The sheep notices the camera and stares - Sweetgrass
2. The slow, Aguirre, the Wrath of God super-zoom on the face of a mountain, and the tiny trail of white ants -- er, sheep -- descending it - Sweetgrass
3. A cowboy's miserable phone call to mom, from the top of a mountain - Sweetgrass (yes, I think my three favorite moments of the year were all from Sweetgrass)
4. Mother stumbles through a field, then begins to sway (the opening shot) - Mother
5. Mark Zuckerberg's long analog walk from the pub to his dorm after being dumped by his girlfriend - The Social Network
6. "I love you.  Good bye." (the brutal tenderness of the love/murder scene) - The Killer Inside Me
7. Mom's boyfriend (Michael Fassbender) gives Mia (Katie Jarvis) a lift on his back that becomes a slo-mo horseback ride into the shadows of the deep, dark woods - Fish Tank
8. Climbing the bars to scatter letters in the snow at night - Vincere
9. Blackie's nocturnal ride through the valley of the shadow - True Grit
10. One car left on the ferry (opening sequence) - The Ghost Writer

Best Cinematic Breakthrough
1. Matt Reeves, Let Me In (based on Cloverfield, who could have known this guy was a real filmmaker?)
2. Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
3. Delphine Chanéac, Splice
4. Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
5. Mila Kunis, Black Swan

Best Body of Work
1. Andrew Garfield (The Social Network, Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974 and Never Let Me Go)
2. Rebecca Hall (Please Give and The Town)
3. Matt Damon (True Grit and Hereafter)
4. Ewan McGregor (The Ghost Writer and I Love You Phillip Morris)
5. Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right and Shutter Island)

Best Ensemble Performance
1. The Kids Are All Right
2. True Grit
3. Another Year
4. The Social Network
5. Life During Wartime



Best Web-Based Criticism

10th Anniversary Award, Best Feature Film 2000
1. Code Unknown, Michael Haneke
2. Wonder Boys, Curtis Hanson
3. Best in Show, Christopher Guest
4. Almost Famous, Cameron Crowe
5. American Psycho, Mary Harron



25th Anniversary Award, Best Feature Film 1985
1. Ran, Akira Kurosawa
2. 28 Up, Michael Apted
3. Brazil, Terry Gilliam
4. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Tim Burton
5. Alpine Fire, Freddie Murer


50th Anniversary Award, Best Feature Film 1960
1. La Dolce Vita, Federico Fellini
2. L'Avventura, Michelangelo Antonioni
3. Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock
4. Peeping Tom, Michael Powell
5. Breathless, Jean-Luc Godard



Special Award: Best Film of the 1950s
1. Sansho the Bailiff, Kenji Mizoguchi

2. Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock
3. The Night of the Hunter, Charles Laughton

4. The Searchers, John Ford
5. The Earrings of Madame de…, Max Ophuls

6. Early Spring, Yasujiro Ozu

7. North By Northwest, Alfred Hitchcock
8. Rio Bravo, Howard Hawks
9. Nazarin, Luis Bunuel
10. In a Lonely Place, Nicholas Ray

OK, I'm now convinced the 1950s were the best decade ever for movies.  Even though I limited this list to one title per director (except I couldn't do without Vertigo OR NxNW), I had to leave off so many indispensable it's just embarrassing.  The greatest year in cinema history?  Was it 1959?  1953? 1950? Hard to say…

Alternate best films of the 1950s by the same directors in the same order (except for Laughton who never directed anything else):

1. The Life of Oharu (or Ugetsu), Kenji Mizoguchi
2. Rear Window, Alfred Hitchcock
3. Pickpocket (or Diary of a Country Priest), Robert Bresson
4. Wagon Master, John Ford
5. La Ronde (or Lola Montes), Max Ophuls
6. Early Summer (or Tokyo Story), Yasujiro Ozu
7. Strangers on a Train (or The Wrong Man), Alfred Hitchcock
8. Monkey Business, Howard Hawks
9. The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (or El), Luis Bunuel
10. Bigger Than Life (or Rebel Without a Cause), Nicholas Ray

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