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Sideways [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh, Marylouise Burke
  • Directors: Alexander Payne
  • Producers: Michael London
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 16 May 2005
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (198 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007RUSGW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,636 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Comedy drama which follows Miles (Paul Giamatti), an unsuccessful novelist, and Jack (Thomas Haden Church), an equally unsuccessful actor who is about to get married. They decide to take a trip to California in an attempt to sow their wild oats. There they explore the nature of their failures and question their relationships. Jack has an affair and wonders whether he should call off the marriage. Miles, recently divorced himself, questions whether or not he made the right decision.

From Amazon.co.uk

With Sideways, Paul Giamatti (American Splendor, Storytelling) has become an unlikely but engaging romantic lead. Struggling novelist and wine connoisseur Miles (Giamatti) takes his best friend Jack (Thomas Haden Church, Wings) on a wine-tasting tour of California vineyards for a kind of extended bachelor party. Almost immediately, Jack's insatiable need to sow some wild oats before his marriage leads them in into double-dates with a rambunctious wine pourer (Sandra Oh, Under the Tuscan Sun) and a recently divorced waitress (Virginia Madsen, The Hot Spot)--and Miles discovers a little hope that he hasn't let himself feel in a long time. Sideways is a modest but finely tuned film; with gentle compassion, it explores the failures, struggles, and lowered expectations of mid-life. Giamatti makes regret and self-loathing sympathetic, almost sweet. From the director of Election and About Schmidt. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Re Shepherd on 27 July 2009
Format: DVD
A trully marvellous film that I watched by accident on a plane to the States. I love this film and can watch it repeatedly. Mid-life crisis meets road-movie meets stag weekend, all with the sophisticated backdrop of a wine-tasting trip. It is quite hilarious in parts but also dry as a bone. The groom to be having to make up an excuse for his broken nose decides his best man's car must show signs of a road accident, the result sums up the tragic and comic nature of thyis film. Watch it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 May 2012
Format: DVD
Alexander Payne's 2004 film Sideways is by turns an hilarious comedy and poignant tragedy - not exactly wildly innovative or original, but certainly representative of the best of recent American independent (or perhaps, more meaningfully, low budget) filmmaking. Payne is, for me, a very interesting filmmaker, not necessarily that visually distinctive, but someone who nearly always has a slightly different (and consistently perceptive) take on a range of social issues, whether this be the politics in educational establishments, the effects of old age or family politics (as he addressed in his other films Election, About Schmidt and The Descendants).

Sideways showcases a brilliant performance from one of the US' finest crop of (relatively) newly established actors, Paul Giamatti. Giamatti delivers an outstanding performance as the downbeat loser and aspiring author, Miles, who, together with good friend, bit-part actor and womaniser, Jack (Thomas Haden Church) embark on a week's break touring the Californian vineyards before Jack's imminent wedding. Payne creates a beautifully laid-back atmosphere (accompanied by a suitably jazz-inflected soundtrack) as the pair wander between wine tastings and golf days amidst idyllic sunshine. Soon, however, frictions begin to develop between the friends as Miles becomes increasingly frustrated, and eventually despairing, at Jack's obsession with having a final fling before his marriage, a level of despair which is exacerbated for Miles following his drunken phone call to his recently divorced wife and less than positive news on the publication of his debut novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. P. Monblat on 9 May 2012
Format: DVD
I've just seen the film and really liked it. I could not care less whether it was a "comedy" or not - some reviewers don't see it that way, and depending on your defintion, it may not be. But, if it is misdescribed, it's not the film's fault, is it? It certainly is not funny in the way say "Miranda" or "Faulty Towers" are, ie constant, real LOL funny, but there is gentle humour from time to time, which is fine.

I agree with some reviewers who note that one has preferably to empathise with the characters a little to want to see a film about them - I could not do so to a very great extent in the case of one of the couples, but did do so very much in the case of the Madsen/Giamatti relationship. To me it was a gentle drama - not a heavy-hitting deeply and overtly dramatic thing, which films seem to need to be to get described as "drama". It was light, but definitely NOT lightweight. In my view, marketing people who call too many things comedy deserve one star, but the writer, director etc of this film and the above two actors especially deserve five. Giamatti's character may have mildly snobbish tendencies perhaps (although only really in relation to wine, which was only ever one of a number of a pegs to hang the whole enterprise on), but this is not a reason to dislike the film, as he is a thoughtful, intelligent person in the other areas of of his existence, and his humanity including, yes, some human frailties, coupled with the choices he makes, show him to be one of life's "better people" in the sense of goodness, not status. Madsen plays a woman of both attractive looks and personality, she is interesting, bright, intelligent and warm, ie easy for a fellow to fall for, hence my empathy with the Giamatti character who does just that, and the pair come across to me as very real and excellent to watch.

The film may not do quite what the marketeers wrote on the can, but... who cares????

In summary, an absolute GEM of a film.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Horne on 11 Sept. 2006
Format: DVD
I agree with another reviewer, you do have to have lived a little to fully appreciate this film. If you have ever experienced rocky highs and lows, then you may well find something here for you. You don't have to be male to appreciate the struggles and poignancy contained herein.

All the characters are simply superb. Anyone who has felt on an emotional rollercoaster for whatever reason, will be able to feel for, as well as laugh with, the character Miles, who is played so superbly here. There is plenty of pathos and laughter to be found here, and the ridiculousness of the human condition is laid bare without the usual Hollywood gloss. Virginia Madsen is also simply wonderful in this. I finished watching this with a real regret that I would see no more of these wonderfully flawed and rich characters.

There are many moments in this film that are funny. The humour is in a recognition of our own humanity at best and worst. To see Miles (Giamatti) act as a man on the edge is a joy to behold. His loss and rejection reflects the difficulties we all face, and I like that the film deals with this in a very `un-Hollywood' way. How one moment we can lose it and feel utter despair, but, how we can be coaxed out of this a few minutes later by a good friend to feel something encroaching on normality again. This is a film that I will gladly watch again and again.
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