Recently I was contemplating making a list of my favorite scenes in film, but I decided that instead of just…
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 One of them an unpublished novelist suffering from depression, the other only days away from walking down the aisle.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.
Sideways exemplifies how to astutely align an audience with the mindset of its central characters. This is obviously more apt for Paul Giamatti's anxious self-loather than it is for Thomas Haden Church's confident but fading womaniser, but it's still richly rewarding getting to know the two of them so well on their week-long roadtrip up the California wine trail, anticipating their priceless reactions to the unpredictable misadventures they find themselves in.
Like American Beauty (1999), this film will probably become more poignant and identifiable when you've reached a certain age (than it immediately appears to a twenty-six year-old). I don't think I've lived long enough or endured enough existential crises to fully comprehend Mile's and Jack's personal problems, but the…
Excellent chemistry between all of the actors. Still love the film, but something about this 4th or 5th time seeing the film had me liking the characters less, so I dropped the film half a star.
A funny drama from director Alexander Payne.
Beautifully written, marvelously acted, crummy direction.
legit i'll watch any movie if it has paul giamatti in it
Two guys head out on a wine holiday/stag do. Paul Giamatti's character Miles is very cleverly introduced and he is set him up as a funny and likeable character despite still struggling with his divorce and initially being unable to try and move on. His partner Jack played by Thomas Hayden Church is the complete opposite and is about to get married yet he still wants to get laid once more before he ties the knot. The films jokes, warm feel and music keeps it as a slightly dark comedy which I really liked. Without those elements it would not have been as nice and could have been a completely different genre altogether. I found the scene where Miles retrieves…
Film #25 of the 2016 New Year, New Scavenger Hunt Challenge!
Task #7. A Movie Featuring an Answering Machine
Somewhat slow but eventually rewarding to watch. It's about Miles, a divorced English teacher who is hoping to have his book published, and Jack, a promiscuous actor who's getting married in a week. They are going on a trip to celebrate Jack's last week of freedom by tasting wine and playing golf, and in Jack's case, hitting on women. I just can't stand infidelity, so I had a hard time finding Jack likeable. Miles is a bit of a loser, but he's a decent person and I guess things played out the way they should.
Easily in my top 5
Sideways is a 2004 film directed by Alexander Payne and adapted from Rex Pickett’s novel of the same name. I was unfamiliar with both the film and director when I randomly came across it this morning on NOW TV, but thought I’d give it a shot. For the most part this is a very enjoyable movie, with some great character development and a solid plot. Paul Giamatti plays recently divorced author Miles Raymond, a troubled and lost figure who is attempting to get his novel published and make a name for himself. He also has a passion for wine, one of the film’s main themes. His friend and actor, Jack, played by Thomas Haden Church is his polar opposite. He…
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!