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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sensational taste
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...
Published on 27 July 2009 by Re Shepherd

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Film with depth.
This is not your typical action packed fast paced film but is definetely worth watching. Miles one of the main characters was depicted brilliantly. I totally got the humour of this although it's not a laugh out loud humour type of film it didn't matter. Miles' sidekick definetely deserved a motorbike helmet to the face. I enojyed this film because it was something a bit...
Published 11 months ago by Juddz444


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sensational taste, 27 July 2009
By 
This review is from: Sideways [DVD] (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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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films of the last 10 years, if not THE best :), 13 April 2010
This review is from: Sideways [DVD] (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. If you can't be bothered to give it that then I would suggest that it is YOU who is boring.

The script is extraordinarily clever. It deservedly won an oscar and so too should have Giametti. His partnership with the oscar-nominated Haden-Church as the infantile actor, Jack, is a joy to watch unfold.

As I said, whether you find it funny depends on your sense of humour, but if you watch it with your brain out of gear and 'don't get it' then the fault is with you and not the film.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb acting, 11 Sep 2006
This review is from: Sideways [DVD] (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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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "no going to the dark side...OK", 16 May 2005
By 
BA Baracus "BA" (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sideways [DVD] (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slice of Life, 18 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Sideways [DVD] (DVD)
A most entertaining ride in this drama rippling with hilarious comedy and dialogue throughout. A one off, too perfect to attempt a sequel. Marvelous story line, characters and cast. Enjoy with a bottle or two of wine in the company of friends.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars slowly grows on you, 10 Sep 2006
By 
P Leach "paulleach4" (Kent England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sideways [DVD] (DVD)
I nearly switched this film off after the first hour,but I was glad that I stayed with it. This is a film of two halves, the first is wrapped up with the main charactors discussing types of wine or grapes which was semi educational but a little tedious, but the second half became really interesting. If you are over forty, you will enjoy this film, because like the charactors you will have suffered the ups and downs that life throws at you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, 7 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Sideways [DVD] (DVD)
We love this film..Purchased in order to free up space on DVD hard drive. Did not want to delete as always enjoyable viewing
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films I have ever seen, 8 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Sideways [DVD] (DVD)
'Sideways' was a gift from one of my sons so I suspected it would make good viewing - and it did.

'Sideways' has an unusual and clever scenario revolving around a wine tasting trip, chosen as a 'stag-do' and embarked upon by two 30 something males; the groom-to-be, whose eagerness to have 'one last fling' places him at odds with his best friend and connoisseur of wine who is somewhat depressed at his own life situation including his apparent inability to accept the finality of his own divorce.

'Sideways' is acted out magnificently and credibly by all the cast and I highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Payne's Hilarious And Affecting Comedy, 14 May 2012
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sideways [DVD] (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. Giamatti, whose characterisation as Miles is rather like a less-comedic Woody Allen persona, is superb as he gives vent to his emotions, firstly in his natural, more restrained fashion and then, when he reaches breaking point, in full-blown (drunken) manic fashion. Both Haden Church as the sex-obsessed Jack, who delivers a constant stream of inane, but hilarious, comments, and Virginia Madsen as Miles' developing love interest Maya also deliver excellent acting performances (for which they were nominated for Best Supporting Actor/Actress Oscars).

Giamatti's performance here is, for me, probably the best in a leading role that I have seen from him thus far, surpassing his other good turns in the films American Splendor and Win Win.

In conclusion, an extremely funny and poignant film, not groundbreaking, but certainly well worth seeing, and one of the most outstanding portrayals of male friendship (albeit arguably misplaced) that I have seen in recent years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for what it actually IS, 9 May 2012
By 
A. P. Monblat (Sutton, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sideways [DVD] (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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Sideways
Sideways by Alexander Payne
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