Writer: Rex Pickett (Novel), Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
Stars: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh
If Sideways achieved anything, it's that it made me want to drink wine... and lots of it! I'm not a wine enthusiast. In fact, I can't stand wine! There's a lot to say when a movie can make you crave something you've disliked for years. Oh, and I found it to be a pretty fantastic film too. The dialogue is really witty and realistic, as are the performances. To be perfectly honest, I don't 'relate' to this movie at all. I'm not middle aged, I've never been divorced, I don't like wine, and I'm not a struggling novelist. BUT, Alexander Payne did a marvellous job at revealing the life of a man who has been, and is going through these problems. It's both really entertaining, and painfully irritating. I didn't 'love' this movie, but technically it's a really well made film. Most critics think it's a masterpiece... REALLY? I don't think so.
Miles (Paul Giamatti) is a depressed, struggling writer who hangs onto hope that his book may be published. His somewhat childish friend, Jack (Thomas Haden Church), is engaged to be married. The two embark on a week of wine tasting and freedom before Jack ties the knot. Along the way, Miles tries to battle his depression, whilst Jack goes through a liaison filled mid-life crisis. It's a journey of last chances and self-discovery, filled with many laughs and many cringe-inducing moments.
|Miles was great, but there was only so much stupidity I could take from Jack.|
Whereas Jack is a pathetic human being in almost every way imaginable. He describes himself as so, "All I know is that I'm an actor. All I have is my instinct." Yup, he pretty much makes really stupid, selfish, disgusting decisions. I didn't like his character at all. There were really funny moments when his naivety of the wine, especially Pinot Noir, got a sharp witty insult from Miles. But personally, I didn't enjoy watching him fuck-up constantly at all. His character grained on me in the second half; it got to the point where I stopped enjoying the movie. That may be the way the movie is written, but I'd call it a flaw when a character gets irritating to the point of stopping the momentum of entertainment. However, Thomas Haden Church really gave an incredible performance... I just couldn't get past his shitty character.
|Sandra Oh was a highlight for me.|
Sideways is a great movie, that is about 15 minutes too long, and 15 minutes too irritating for my liking. Even though it's a really good movie, I just didn't 'love' it. It's realism and 'human' characters was the only masterful aspect of the film in my opinion. Oh, and Paul Giamatti's performance! I think this movie is very overrated by critics, and slightly underrated by the common movie fan. It's 'great' but not 'fantastic'.