Sideways (Widescreen Edition)
Frequently Bought Together
A divorced school teacher, and failed author, joins up with his buddy who is about to get married and head to wine country for a week of male bonding and wine tasting. What starts out as a whimsical trip to mark the coming milestone in his friend's life quickly dissolves into philosophical discussions and poignant debate. By the end of the week, neither man is convinced that they are on the right track.
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)
- 7 deleted scenes
- Behind-the-scenes featurette
- 3 Easter eggs
- Theatrical trailer
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 ›
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
My favorite movie of all time. Extremely well written, excellent acting, funny, poignant, educational, deep.Published 15 days ago by oh my garlic
I first became aware of Sideways by seeing the film of the same name, starring Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Okemos
A very fine film, with, I imagine, a low budget, excellent acting all around, subtle plot, can watch it any time for all moods and reasons, everything fits where it belongs, bravo,... Read morePublished 16 days ago by George J. Kuczer
Incredibly disappointed and really questioning every award they received. It is a conspiracy! This movie is so boring there is no way it deserved any recognition. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Kelly
Hilarious yet at times Paul Giamatti was annoying enough that I wanted to slap his character. Look past that though, and the scenery was beautiful and the story was great.. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Jenifer Kalina