In this intoxicating, intelligent comedy, director Alexander Payne (Election, About Schmidt) serves up "one of the best movies of the year" (Entertainment Weekly) about the ups, downs and sideways journeys of life. A wine-tasting road trip through California's famed Central Coast takes an unexpected detour as Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (Thomas Haden Church) hit the gas en route to their mid-life crisis. The comically mismatched pair soon find themselves drowning in wine, women... and laughter!
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(Apr 05, 2005)
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Top Customer Reviews
Well, "Sideways" does live up to its billing, and it does so through one simple virtue -- truth. "Sideways" is an extremely funny and insightful examination of two men struggling with their mediocrity -- one who is all too aware of his shortcomings, and another who uses a pathetic Peter Pan syndrome to keep at bay the harsh glare of reality.
The self-aware guy is Miles (the lovable schlub Paul Giamatti), a recently divorced middle school English teacher who's having a difficult time getting his novel published . . . or even explained. Miles is awash in bitterness, but he knows deep down that he's a sweet guy once you get past the sour layers (of which there are many). The ignorant guy is Jack (Thomas Hayden Church), Miles' freshman roommate from San Diego State and a mildly successful actor. Jack is one of those guys who should be thankful for the successes he has, but is incapable of doing so because by accepting a given success, he is placing a ceiling on his dreams.
The "plot" of "Sideways" revolves around Jack's impending marriage. Engaged to a rich beauty and walking down the aisle on Saturday, Jack gets escorted by Miles for a week of freedom in the California central coast wine country. While wine, for Jack, is a means for getting drunk, it is a religion for Miles.Read more ›
First, what's with the "boring" film thing, if you want exciting I don't know, rent something that's supposed to be exciting with explosions and Bruce Willis. Or if you find it morally ambiguous, consider what movies the director traditionally makes, Election, About Schmidt, these are somewhat dark, slow, depressing movies, rent something with Larry The Cable Guy if that's your thing; point is a little research prevents bad movie choices.
At 28 what I like about this movie is that it recognizes that life is messy and complicated. Considering my limited life experience I recognize that getting older doesn't automatically make someone perfect, responsible, and ethical. Cheating on spouses is not for me, but I've known couples (one of which many would describe as a good couple) who've cheated on each other. I'm not saying this is right but the point is I think people should be able to see some aspects of this story that are similar to their lives. Have you ever had a hard time getting over someone, or has one of your friends??? Ever know anyone who's unable to admit about a problem or won't admit they are in a rut?? I think lots of people feel like this, including myself; the point is there are those moments that give you hope. I'm speaking specifically about Miles in this movie, at one point in time he was much better, (though weak, he did cheat on his wife) Jack describes an entirely cheerier person.Read more ›
Great little cult film, funny and poignant, and with gorgeous Victoria Madsen in a thankful role Miles away from her sex-kitten persona. She's never been lovelier. Cheers!
What a great film. Sideways is one of the few movies based on a book that improves a good deal over its source material. And it is absolutely hilarious. The reason I like Sideways, for better or for worse, is I know both Jack and Miles too well. At one time or another, I've walked in both of their shoes. Alexander Payne reaches a zenith of sorts with his quiet eccentric style. The film blends friendship, the road trip and a party flick. The wine provides an interesting tenor to boot. Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church are completely irreplaceable in their respective roles. They're sort of cosmopolitan R2D2 and C3P0 roadies.
There's been a lot of complaints over perceived Blu-Ray quality over the standard DVD. I can tell you, the Blu-Ray is better. On a large 1080p screen, there is a noticeable difference. Cinematographer Phedon Papamichael created a unique look for the visuals to give the film a signature feel. All those smudgy light plumes, and glowing highlights come from diffusion and slight overexposure folks, maybe even a shot of digital grading to punch the highlights. None of those things lend themselves to the sharpest end products - the end product is a vintage style soft image. The Blu-Ray IS indeed better. There is no way i would choose the DVD over this. If you don't have a big enough 1080p screen for it to matter, however, the DVD will probably suffice. But come on, at $10 for the BD, why choose the DVD?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just watched again the other night. I find this movie enjoyable and find the interaction among the characters true to life.Published 15 hours ago by Amazon Customer
Though it has its funny parts and we enjoyed the wine scenery, it was also crude. I would not recommend it to anyone.Published 6 days ago by Jan C Camp
Sideways still holds up after all these years. A great story and the area is so beautiful. Been there many times and the camera captured it beautifully. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Robert Stern