All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. 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 One of them an unpublished novelist suffering from depression, the other only days away from walking down the aisle.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.
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…
This is one of those films that is just too good to review.
As soon as it finished, I felt like I wanted to watch it again. Another wonderful Paul Giamatti performance, he really is a comedy hero. A subtle comedic hero. In fact the entire cast are fantastic. This is not a film about real life, but it feels exactly like a film about real life. And that takes a great deal of skill.
I love this film more than I love fine wine.
Wine the movie. Only joking, this film is full of great and lovely performances especially the terrific Paul Giamatti. Alexander Payne's sensitive direction and sharp witted and intelligent script are really excellent and its a marvelous study of friendship, sorrow and identity which is both incredibly funny and sad.
Alexander Payne makes intelligent films for adult audiences that usually have a dark satirical edge and comedic traits running through them. As "indie" as they come, Payne delivered something really special here.
"Election" had a deeply wicked humor that is rare in mainstream film-making of recent years. "About Schmidt" wasn't really for me but I appreciated what Payne was trying to do and "The Descendants" had yet more human drama and conflict that he's so good at.
"Sideways" though will be the one I always come back to. It's touching,sad, sentimental with a cynical and brutal honesty about both relationships and friendship. Paul Giamati was the guy who got overlooked come Oscar time even though he delivers the performance of…
Part of my 20 least favorite film viewing experiences list.
Why is being a teacher a bad job? Miles (Paul Giamatti) hates his job teaching kids. He wants to explore his art or creativity or some bullshit. As if helping kids can't be creative. As if helping kids can't be enough to hang your hat on. Am I supposed to sympathize with this piece of shit? Am I supposed to feel bad about a guy who has a great job, judges everything around him, and STILL, STILL has the smart and beautiful Maya (Virginia Madsen) interested in him.
What is this film about? Seriously? Watching it, I kept looking around waiting for the candid camera people to pop out from somewhere. It's a two hour advertisement for wine--at best! And it's not even a good commercial; it's a bland one! It makes wine look like it's for assholes! WINE! WINE RULES! SIDEWAYS ALMOST RUINS WINE!
It’s really hard for me to determine whether or not Giamatti gives a good performance here or is just well-cast. As an actor, I feel like Giamatti often creates characters that feel more like a bundle of affectations than real people (I plan on rewatching American Splendor soon to confirm or deny this theory), but Miles is such a bundle of affectations wrapped around a hard core of insecurity that he’s perfect here. Feels a lot more broad and digestible than it used to (a high school gateway indie, like Eternal Sunshine or Lost in Translation) but then, last time I saw this I was unaware of Alexander Payne’s work in Citizen Ruth or Election. Still, as far as this kind of film goes, it’s sharp and well-observed, even if the wine metaphors start to feel terribly tortured by the end. B
This is as enjoyable and unassuming as indies get. You just want to give it a big hug.
Fun and terrific, in a grown up kind of way.
Sideways is the rare comedy that's as human as it is funny, giving Paul Giamatti the performance of a lifetime.
Classic Alexander Payne. No beginning, no middle, no end. The story just happens. Since I went in expecting that, as I do all of his movies, I wasn't disappointed. I would've liked to see more growth from Paul Giamatti's character, but if that had happened it wouldn't have been a film done by Payne. I found it hard to like both Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church's characters, and it's always hard for me to follow a movie if I can't root for the people in them.
Overall, funny. Sometimes disturbing, yet enjoyable.
It's a strange thing to revisit a film that you initially didn't like.
Caught this film upon it's release but unfortunately think I saw it after hearing way too much hype about it!
I wasn't really that impressed. I didn't get what everyone was going on about. Most of all I just didn't find it that funny.
What a difference 10 years can make.
I loved it. Fantastic performances, funny, sweet, poignant and Paul Giamatti has never been better (well, apart from American Splendor perhaps?).
Increasingly I think I'm becoming quite a fan of Alexander Payne.
Payne's films are as simple as a pi. He choose troubled lives from the neighborhoods, lay out their issues and working out a simple momentary solution. There is no added drama or emotion, still you are guaranteed to love shed some tears in between. Sweet and simple - Alexander Payne's films leave lasting positive impressions in your mind. Sideways is no different.
The story of a week-long road trips taken by two friends in their forties. A journey of joy and epiphany.
As usual, the performances from the lead are top notch especially Paul Giamatti. I never thought that Thomas Haden Church who played Sandman in Spidmerman 3 as a talented actor. Never know about his earlier and this totally…
Surprise Film at the 2004 London Film Festival
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
- In the Mood for Love
- Children of the Corn
- 28 Weeks Later
- Welcome to the Dollhouse
I FUCKING LOVE COLOURING