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Sideways (Widescreen Edition)

937 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description


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!

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 divorce 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

On the DVD

Stars Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church have an absolute blast on their commentary track, gleefully ripping themselves, fawning over "La Madsen," and recalling "that bad fake wine we had to drink a lot of." Director Alexander Payne dismisses the seven deleted scenes (about 17 minutes total) as "meager offerings," and it's true that there are no gems. But even better than the scenes themselves might be Payne's text introductions, which offer insight into his editing process. Each scene is surrounded by brief bits from the finished film to provide context, which should be done more often. The 6-minute making-of featurette is better than most because it spends less time on self-promotion and plot summary. --David Horiuchi

Stills from Sideways (Click for larger image)


Special Features

  • 7 deleted scenes
  • Behind-the-scenes featurette
  • 3 Easter eggs
  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh, Marylouise Burke
  • Directors: Alexander Payne
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: April 5, 2005
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (937 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007TKOAA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,658 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sideways (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Scott Schiefelbein VINE VOICE on August 1, 2005
Format: DVD
It's always dangerous when you are late in coming to a small movie that has unexpectedly hit the big time -- your viewing enjoyment may be hampered by the crushing weight of expectations. It's wonderful when you can be among the first to see small-budget classics like Stanely Tucci's "Big Night," but I didn't get to see "Sideways" until after the Oscar nominations, the critics' Top 10 lists, and so on. How could "Sideways" possibly live up to these awesome credentials?

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.
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47 of 54 people found the following review helpful By David A. Linneweh on January 11, 2008
Format: DVD
I realize this movie has come and gone but over the last year I've really grown to love it and after reading some of the reviews that this movie was so poor I felt compelled to give my opinion.

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.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A. Wait on January 12, 2008
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I really enjoyed this movie. It's funny, awkward, and touching. It's got a *great* ending. But certainly it's not for everyone--this is a character-driven film--that is, the plot is about changes taking place within the characters' emotions, relationships, and understandings of themselves. If you're looking for high drama, big action, stunning cinematography--look elsewhere. But if you're interested in a small-ish film about real-ish people, real-ish situations--and genuine humor, give sideways a try.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jenny J.J.I. VINE VOICE on March 25, 2006
Format: DVD
Tonight had been the first time I seen this film and the reason why it took me so long to see this film was because it wasn't high on my "Must See List." At the end of this film I quite enjoyed it and for many reasons. One may be that I will never see a commemorative Sideways bottle of wine or the Sideways happy meal at McDonald's. My point is that Sideways is a great movie and nothing more. It doesn't rely on blockbuster star power. It doesn't need flashy special effects or gimmicks. Paul Giammatti performs flawlessly as a flawed and deeply troubled character. I found myself forgetting he was acting. I only saw the character he was playing and became engrossed by his presence. Thomas Haden Church offers a very nice contrast by playing what appears to be a two-dimensional, sophomoric, womanizer.

The story is simple and focuses more on character development. It is easy to connect with each of the main characters. They may not be likable but what they are is human. If you can't relate to them personally, they remind you of a family member or close friend.

Overall, this film is for those who like movies based in reality, which as you will see can produce some of the most bizarre and comical situations of all. If you like movies with jokes you don't have to think about (Who doesn't from time to time) don't worry, this film has a surprisingly high amount of low brow, and immature humor. While it is so easy to resort to the wine as metaphor - as the film amply does with smart, sharp and pungent dialogue - the film is a full-bodied, never precocious vintage that needs to be savored in a desirable bouquet of cinematic finesse. Give it a try.
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No, it only has English subtitles. Hope this helps.
Jan 25, 2009 by A C SHIELDS |  See all 2 posts
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