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 One of them an unpublished novelist suffering from depression, the other only days away from walking down the aisle.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 am NOT drinking any fucking Merlot!"
Like all fine wines this one just gets better with age. I love 'Sideways' it has a strong melancholic base but with warm, touching flavours and a hint of wistfulness. It, like many other Alexander Payne films, is a road trip movie of sorts, again looking at people who are of a certain age going through a crisis in life.
Paul Giammati was robbed of an Academy Award nomination (in my opinion he should have won the damn thing!) as Miles, a wine enthusiast going through a mid-life crisis after divorcing his wife (two years previous). Thomas Haden Church is great as the man child Jack, Miles's old college buddy who is getting…
watched with mom a day after I started taking Zoloft. Meaningful
Wait. Did I just like a movie about wine?
I think I did!
This was well liked when it was released and I know people who love it, yet I was a bit disappointed when I saw it at the theatre and, seeing it again now, I’m still not convinced. What is good about it is obvious: nice detailed dialogue, nice detailed performances, nice detailed scenes, such as the ones between Paul Giamatti and Virginia Madsen, the dialogue always circling their feelings. It’s a nice film. But there seems to be a bit of trickery about it. The characters in most Hollywood films begin as stereotypes, or archetypes...anyway, as types. The presence of a star can flesh them out...and most don’t get further than that, but some can be a collection of types,…
Actors Paul Giamatti and Thomas Hayden Church give an entertaining extension of their characters in a light commentary. If you're a fan of this movie it's worth checking out their playful jabs and witty banter on this hilarious commentary track.
"Sideways" is a great character movie. Sure, you can break down the structure and story to something that appears traditional, but where Payne excels is in fleshing it all out. The characters are so different, yet still real, imperfect and relatable, and while the general story is very straightforward, the minor details in the plot that moves the picture through those general storypoints are so unique and vivid. There is a constant sense of momentum and these characters are portrayed with a screen presence that makes the entire watch a joyful and humorous one, cumulating in a way that lives up to all its potential in a satisfying way.
Is this the life of adulthood?
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I had a lot of fun with this one. Definitely feels like a bit more of a romp than your average tender-ish drama, but the characters were interesting and surprisingly nuanced (barring Jack, who's pretty easy to understand, if not like). The cheesy elevator music was great, and the silly 60s documentary editing near the beginning was hilarious.
The naked tow truck guy and the missed tree car wreck definitely recalled the Coen flavor for me.
me every time paul giamatti said "pinot noir":
The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…