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Sideways 2005

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(209) IMDb 7.6/10
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Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment, embark on a week long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the altar.

Starring:
Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 7 minutes
Starring Sandra Oh, Virginia Madsen, Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church
Director Alexander Payne
Genres Comedy
Studio 20TH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release Limited availability
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 7 minutes
Starring Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Sandra Oh, Virginia Madsen
Director Alexander Payne
Genres Comedy
Studio 20th Century Fox
Rental release 3 May 2013
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 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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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Shorne 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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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By D. Lynch on 13 April 2010
Format: DVD
A simple premise - Jack is about to get married and his friend Miles takes him on a holiday of wine-tasting and golf. Except the holiday Jack has in mind has a slightly different emphasis. And it's the last thing Miles needs right now...

There are enough reviews on here without me adding to the details of the film, but I recommend you stick to reading the positive reviews. The negative ones seem to miss the point, going by some of their ridiculous criticisms...

'the characters are unlikeable'.
Actually, the characters are refreshingly human and believable. They have their good and bad sides, like all of us, and the actors draw out the humour in their flaws, and even sympathy where appropriate. Especially Paul Giametti as the intellectual wine-expert, Miles, who was clearly once a popular, amusing guy until the collapse of his marriage sent him into a tailspin of uncontrollable alcohol binges. Anyone who dismisses the film because the characters are 'dislikable' I suggest either has a mighty opinion of themselves, or, more likely, sees something of themselves in the characters.

'It isn't funny'
We don't all have the same sense of humour do we? There isn't a comedy or comedian on earth that everyone likes. I found Sideways funny, but the comedy is consistently and delightfully subtle. It emerges from the characters, it's sprinkled throughout the dialogue and it's brought beautifully to life by the leads' performances. Yes, it probably goes over the head of anyone looking for easy laughs without paying much attention and those that dislike dialogue-driven films. What I will say is that I find it funnier with each repeated viewing (and I've watched it several times now!).

'It's boring'
The film requires a modicum of patience and attention.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By BA Baracus on 16 May 2005
Format: DVD
Miles has decided to take Jack on a bachelor road trip for some hedonistic fun before he eventually gets married a week later. Miles's idea was for the two of them to enjoy Jack's last few days of freedom together in wine country and perhaps play some golf but Jack has other ideas.
to go into anymore detail would be to ruin the whole experience for you, so i'll stop now.
this film reminded me so much of classic '70's movies particularly those of Hal Ashby such as Harold and Maude and The Last Detail. were so much more emphasis is placed on characters rather than plot, which in my mind almost always makes for a more interesting experience. unfortunately some people will and have disagreed...their loss. Miles and Jack are very interesting characters, Miles is particularly prickly but Giamatti's excellent performance manages to get us to care and love the character neverthless, he is if you like the new Bill Murray playing the sort of depressed, world weary characters directors like Wes Anderson and Sofia Coppola have excelled in creating for Murray. how he never recieved an academy nod is beyond me. Jack is lovable straight away with his witty fun loving antics but his infidelity makes you question his behaviour. Thomas Haden Church's performance is equal to that of Giamatti's and he definately deserved an Oscar over Morgan Freeman who was playing the same stereotypical role of reliable sidekick that he always does in the majority of his films, but anyway.
the supporting cast is equally good as well with, particularly Virginia Madsen.
the direction is understated and there are some incredibly hilarious, poignant and sad moments particularly for Miles as he struggles to accept the rejection he sees everywhere. The ending was particularly brave and allows the characters to linger on after you have watched the film and wonder "what are they doing now" perhaps the greatest compliment i could pay to a film so interested and focused with its characters.
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