Reeling in '98

The Austin Chronicle Top Nine Films of 1998

1. The Sweet Hereafter (39)

2. Hands on a Hard Body (28)

3. Happiness (25)

4. Shakespeare in Love (22)

5. A Simple Plan (19)

6. The Big Lebowski (17)

7. The Opposite of Sex (14)

8. Out of Sight (13)

9. Saving Private Ryan (11)



Critics'
Picks

MARJORIE BAUMGARTEN

1. The Sweet Hereafter
2. The Big Lebowski
3. Happiness
4. The Celebration
5. Hands on a Hard Body
6. A Simple Plan
7. Velvet Goldmine
8. Out of Sight
9. Your Friends and Neighbors
STEVE DAVIS

1. Shakespeare in Love
2. The Sweet Hereafter
3. Hands on a Hard Body
4. The Butcher Boy
5. Out of Sight
6. A Simple Plan
7. Babe: Pig in the City
8. The Apostle
9. Elizabeth
ROBERT FAIRES

1. The Sweet Hereafter
2. Shakespeare in Love
3. The Big Lebowski
4. Oscar and Lucinda
5. The Opposite of Sex
6. Hands on a Hard Body
7. The Apostle
8. Wag the Dog
9. Dancer, Texas Pop. 81
MARC SAVLOV

1. Happiness
2. A Simple Plan
3. High Art
4. Saving Private Ryan
5. Buffalo '66
6. Still Breathing
7. Out of Sight
8. The Big One
9. Elizabeth
RUSSELL SMITH

1. The Sweet Hereafter
2. Hands on a Hard Body
3. The Opposite of Sex
4. Happiness
5. Wag the Dog
6. Velvet Goldmine
7. Saving Private Ryan
8. Shakespeare in Love
9. Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist
NEAR MISSES Saving Private Ryan; Shakespeare in Love; Henry Fool; Beloved; He Got Game High Art; The Thief;Without Limits; You've Got Mail; Snake Eyes Clockwatchers; You've Got Mail, Pleasantville, Moon Over Broadway, Twentyfourseven The Opposite of Sex; The Cruise; The Butcher Boy; Bulworth; Hands on a Hard Body Live Flesh; Your Friends and Neighbors; Oscar and Lucinda; Insomnia; Elizabeth
MOST OVERRATED FILMS The Opposite of Sex; Pleasantville; The Spanish Prisoner Two Girls and a Guy; Deconstructing Harry; The Opposite of Sex The Waterboy; The Truman Show; There's Something About Mary Pleasantville; Love Is the Devil; The Spanish Prisoner
MOST UNDERRATED FILMS Bulworth; Babe: Pig in the City; Velvet Goldmine Babe: Pig in the City; Without Limits; Snake Eyes The Big Lebowski; Clockwatchers; Madeline * (Pi); Six-String Samurai; Can't Hardly Wait Great Expectations; Lolita; Four Days in September
ACTING KUDOS Julie Christie (Afterglow); Ed Harris (The Truman Show); Warren Beatty (Bulworth); Ally Sheedy (High Art); John Turturro and entire cast (The Big Lebowski) Robert Duvall, (The Apostle); Holly Hunter (Living Out Loud); Patricia Clarkson (High Art); Billy Bob Thornton (A Simple Plan); Eammon Owens (The Butcher Boy) Cate Blanchett (Oscar and Lucinda); Robert Duvall (The Apostle); Dustin Hoffman (Wag the Dog); Joan Allen (Pleasantville); Lisa Kudrow (The Opposite of Sex, Clockwatchers) Ally Sheedy (High Art); Christina Ricci (Buffalo '66); Lisa Kudrow (The Opposite of Sex); Rose McGowan (Lewis & Clark & George); Robert Duvall (The Apostle) Christina Ricci (The Opposite of Sex); Geoffrey Rush (Elizabeth); Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love); Rona Hartner (Gadjo Dilo); Stellan Skarsgard (Insomnia)
BEST DIRECTOR Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter);
Todd Solondz (Happiness); Steven Soderbergh (Out of Sight)
Sam Raimi (A Simple Plan); Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter); Steven Soderbergh (Out of Sight) Joel Coen (The Big Lebowski); Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter); Gillian Armstrong (Oscar and Lucinda) Todd Solondz (Happiness); Vincent Gallo (Buffalo '66); Darren Aronofsky, * (Pi) Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter); Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan); Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine)
BEST SCREENPLAY Neil LaBute (Your Friends and Neighbors); Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter); Richard Kwietniowski (Love and Death on Long Island) Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love); Ed Dechter & John J. Strauss (There's Something About Mary); Neil Jordan (The Butcher Boy) Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love); Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter); Don Roos (The Opposite of Sex) Todd Solondz (Happiness); James Toback (Two Girls and a Guy); Sherman Alexie (Smoke Signals) Neil LaBute (Your Friends and Neighbors); Whit Stillman (The Last Days of Disco); Tom Stoppard & Marc Norman (Shakespeare in Love)
WORST FILM Ringmaster: Why go to the theatre and pay seven bucks to buy the Springer cow when you can stay home on the couch and watch the milk curdle for free? Desperate Measures: Has Andy Garcia ever appeared in a good movie since The Untouchables? He's become the kiss of death for any film he's in. The second half of Armageddon: What began as a smarter-than-average summer blockbuster goes dangerously wrong after blast-off, devolving into bomb blasts and bombast, an annoying mix of improbable space opera that would embarrass Flash Gordon and sappy, slo-mo "We Are the World" Coke ad. Godzilla (A Haiku):


Godzilla
lesson
Rubber-suit man was just fine.
CGI? That bites.
Almost Heroes (Memo to God: Punch my ticket whenever you want. It's your deific prerogative. But at least grant me the courtesy of a less embarrassing artistic swan song than this one by the late Chris Farley.)
WILD CARD CATEGORY The welcome embrace of genre films by numerous directors of note: Robert Altman (The Gingerbread Man); Steven Soderbergh (Out of Sight); Richard Linklater (The Newton Boys); Tony Scott (Enemy of the State); John Frankenheimer (Ronin) What Were They Thinking?: The talking snowman in Jack Frost; the shot-for-shot duplication of Psycho and the fictionalization of a Jerry Springer show with Jerry Springer in Ringmaster Most loquacious NYC export: Timothy "Speed" Levitch Best live concert film of a middle-aged English folk/pop/psychedelic cult-rocker that debuted at the SXSW Film Festival, yet -- inexplicably -- has yet to return for a theatrical showing: Storefront Hitchcock

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