All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
In search of wine. In search of women. In search of themselves.
Two middle-aged men embark on a spiritual journey through Californian wine country. One of them an unpublished novelist suffering from depression, the other only days away from walking down the aisle. Both meet two beautiful women on their trip and become romantically involved with them.
Wine is probably the most boring subject on Earth, so how come Payne’s film about a lonely, bitter best man (Paul Giamatti) taking the soon-to-be-groom (Thomas Haden Church) on a week-long tour of vineyards is so bloody good? Perhaps because of Giamatti’s astonishing characterisation, which imbues an arrogant, self-destructive, self-hating pseud with a completely disarming humanity. Or perhaps because it’s not really about wine at all, but love and friendship and the choices that people make that end up deciding and defining their lives. It’s the antithesis of formula filmmaking: incredibly entertaining, but also about something, and featuring – quite unexpectedly – a handful of brilliant sight gags.
I admit it, I love Alexander Payne as a filmmaker and, even though I recognize I am not particularly the target audience of his films (at least most of the times), I can't help but to fall in love with everything involving his little dark comedies. Take Sideways as an example, I don't really enjoy wine nor talking about it and I don't really know what's it like to be married or divorced, but the writing is so good and the execution is so careful that I end up having a great time. Here, he creates a film that is continuously funny (the dialogue is great and the jokes are more hit than miss) and still feels dramatic & heartfelt in…
"Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot's potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they're just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and... ancient on the planet."
And thanks to that emotional speech that Paul Giamatti's character gives to Virginia Madsen's Maya explaining why he is so passionate about Pinot Noir, the sales for that wine actually rose by more than 20% compared to the past year. The characters in this film are fascinating, but it was the wine that took the center stage and became a metaphor for the entire film. I'm not an expert in wines, but we all know that the older a…
If ever proof was needed, and I'm not sure it is, that Paul Giamatti is one of the greatest character actors of our time, then Sideways really is it. Alexander Payne's bittersweet comedy puts him front and centre as Miles, an eighth grade English teacher who undertakes an eventful wine tasting road trip with his best friend, and both create a truly wonderful character whose journey is quite the joy to follow. Sideways ends up being one of those movies you really aren't quite prepared for - shot with a love of California and it's vineyards, often funny and equally quite moving, it's a superbly written and performed portrayal of lost hopes, dreams and self-discovery.
Now I'm no fan of…
4th of July really took it out of me. After the events of my day, I feel like Sideways is the perfect sobering film to watch late at night.
"I am a smudge of excrement on a tissue surging out to sea with a million tons of sewage."
Is that funny at any other time of day than 12am?
Probably. But it sure helps.
Sideways is a buddy comedy/drama that is a tranquil yet chaotic wine tasting trip through the mediocrity of middle aged life. Its a mid-life crisis movie more than anything, and hits all the low key notes that go along with that kind of story setup. I find that like a bottle of wine it gets better…
I really hate wine, and this movie has got me wanting to drink some wine.
This film is filled with GREAT performances.
Oh wow, he compared himself to a delicate wine and she responded that she likes the wine process a/k/a she can fix you because you;re sad, blah blah blah. Also, Jack is one of the worst characters ever written, ever. Period. THE WORST.
Film paired with:
Layer Cake Pinot Noir
Central Coast - California
(fruit, mocha and chocolate, hints of spice and rich)
Chocolate Cheesecake w/ choc chips and caramel drizzle (fo' shizzle)
Watched this one with the lovely Mrs. Kirk and consumed a bottle of Pinot Noir while watching. Much like our wine selection, this film was complex but enjoyable with multiple intersecting flavors.
Like most people I enjoy a good local craft beer but honestly, I'm more of a wine guy. There is something about pulling a new label off the shelf and taking it home to see how it stacks up against previous samplings that is exciting and with each new sampling, the palate becomes more refined. Unlike…
People talking is easily the least cinematic thing to happen on screen. But Alexander Payne makes it work, through equally compelling characters and entertaining dialogue. It's just so...watchable, engaging, and human.
Sideways is a buddy-road trip film filled with laughs, tears, and wine. It takes you through the sunny oasis of the California wine country and presents scenarios of anxiety and depression in the a relatable and understandable way along with some hilarious scenarios of infidelity, sex, and friendship strains. It doesn't leave the audience on the dust; it simply wants you to strap in for the ride.
I'm attracted to dialogue-driven films because, while I do love escapism in films, I feel there's still a lot to learn from humans through conversation. It's fascinating, intriguing, and rewarding to understand other human beings simply from a few sentences, and maybe a few glasses of wine here and there.
I just wish it gave me MORE.
A wonderful surprise. I have been postponing to see this movie for quite some time now and I'm happy to say that I regret not watching it sooner. This is yet another triumph from Alexander Payne and his team.
This profound, character-driven, could be comedy/probably drama is wonderfully enforced by a talented cast of actors, most notably Giamatti who emerges from being an already established character actor in his own right, to give one of the best and most subtly forlorn yet, oddly, just human characterizations in modern cinema. A great performance in a career already full of rich characters. Sideways is a fine bottle of wine that won't peek anytime time soon.
Had to open a bottle of wine while watching this.
I can always appreciate a solid dark comedy and this is a great example.
Miles is an interesting character as he mopes his way through life after constantly getting let down on his aspirations. The real antagonist of the film is his critically negative outlook on life. This is fun to watch since Jack is his polar opposite so the dialogue writes itself.
I’m not a wine person by any stretch but I like the attention to detail and emphasis on the background of wine and wine-tasting without coming off as hammy or pretentious. It was kind of like a neat little lesson weaved into the dialogue to keep it interesting yet educational for people like myself that have no…
I love this movie.
This was perhaps my 4th or 5th viewing of the film and yet I still get excited at the thought of watching it and showing it to other people.
Perfectly observed, funny, heartfelt and an outstanding central performance from Paul Giamatti (which, unfortunately, didn't even net him a best actor nomination at the academy awards).
As a side note, I think certain aspects of the cinematography haven't aged particularly well and the decision towards the beginning of the movie to go split screen in a couple of scenes feels a bit out of place. Minor quibbles that don't take away from the overall movie, thankfully!
Alternative logline: Two petty men act petty and drink wine sometimes.
Paul Giamatti is my spirit animal.
Complete list. :-(
Overweight, loveless, wood paneling, empty parking lots, basements, loners, madness, sadness, isolation, depression, fantasy, eccentric, filth, sleaze...
Charlie Kaufman, Todd…