The 1998 Hidekis

Our own non-Oscars, last year's Hideki Awards, honored the year's dazzling cinematic non-achievements. This year, back-from-the-minors non-sensation Hideki Irabu had nowhere to go but up, so the 1998 Hidekis will not necessarily honor the powerful non-quality of the year's movies, but rather the modestly improved, the bragless semi-achievements. Competition, as you might imagine, was tough.

Notably Modest Semi-Achievement in Filmmaking: Jerry Springer: Ringmaster. Like taking slug poison, but a very modest improvement over watching the show, if only for the nudity.

Notably Modest Semi-Achievement in Screenwriting: Psycho. Dusting off the nearly 40-year-old original, not of course writing it, can alone exemplify our notion of notably modest semi-achievement. But at least Van Sant trimmed back that anticlimactic shrink speech.

Notably Modest Semi-Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Dee Snider, Dee Snider's Strangeland. However you look at it, it beats listening to old Twisted Sister albums. Also-ran: John Travolta in Primary Colors, who might've won as a mega-dimpled improvement over Clinton if we weren't all sick of Clinton jokes.

By an Actress in a Leading Role: Kristin Scott Thomas, The Horse Whisperer. A modest improvement over Jane Fonda in The Electric Horseman.

By an Actor in a Supporting Role: Werner Herzog, What Dreams May Come. One would suppose that, for Herzog, his weird cameo as one of a million faces in Hell represents a meager improvement over having his films go undistributed stateside. But maybe not.

By an Actress in a Supporting Role: The leopard, Passion in the Desert. Balzac, English actors, desert oases: for zoo animals, it doesn't get much better than this.

Notably Modest Semi-Achievement in Visual Effects: Lost in Space. All things being equal, a substantial improvement over getting hit in the head with a shovel.

Notably Modest Semi-Achievement in Distribution: To Miramax, as with its skimpy release of Chungking Express, for finally releasing, years too late, Takeshi Kitano's Sonatine, if releasing is what you want to call it.

Last year, Hideki winners received uncustomized bowling trophies we bought in bulk. This year, we've put paper hats on the little guys. Pick up yours today!

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