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Sideways (DVD, 2005, Full Screen)
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Sideways (DVD, 2005, Full Screen)

Alexander Payne, Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church | Theatrical release: 2004 | Rating: R (MPAA)
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Movie synopsis
Following ABOUT SCHMIDT and ELECTION, Alexander Payne once again focuses on the comedy of personal tragedy in the hilarious and poignant SIDEWAYS. Paul Giamatti (AMERICAN SPLENDOR) plays Miles, the film's antihero, a failed author and self-defeatist who still pines for his ex-wife, who divorced him years before. Meanwhile, Miles's old friend Jack (Thomas Haden Church) is getting married, and the two set off on a bachelors' road trip through California wine country. While Miles looks forward to male bonding over the best bottles the vineyards can offer, Jack is a playful philanderer who just wants to get laid. Thus, this fortysomething odd couple find themselves in conflict, leading to a chaotic week of disagreements, miscast romance with some local women (Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh), and eventually, total meltdown.Payne's artistic direction and excellent character construction will have viewers reeling with laughter, while also feeling true compassion for these two easy-to-read buddies. The film offers beautiful photography of the California countryside, some unique insight into the wine industry, and a soundtrack featuring tunes by Luna, Pat Travers, Bonnie Raitt, and others. Viewers will come away from SIDEWAYS with a smile on their faces, and a thirst for a nice glass of Pinot Noir.

Product Details
  • Edition: Full Screen
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Rating: R (MPAA)
  • Film Country: USA
  • UPC: 024543175902

Additional Details
Genre:Dramas
Format:DVD
Display Format:Full Screen

eBay Product ID: EPID45540350

Editorial reviews

"[A] completely satisfying movie that quietly, gently blows you away. Exactly written, directed with a surgeon's precision and transcendently acted, SIDEWAYS brings emotional reality to a consistently amusing character comedy."
Los Angeles Times - Kenneth Turan (10/22/2004)

"This is a building-block movie: Its stand-out excellence becomes apparent only gradually..."
USA Today - Mike Clark (10/22/2004)

"[The film] fuses bracing wit and emotional gravity into something funny, touching and vital....Pure movie bliss."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (11/11/2004)

"It's an intoxicating feeling when a movie excites and enlivens us like this..."
Entertainment Weekly - Lisa Schwarzbaum (10/29/2004)

"[O]ne of the most incisive movies ever made about the intricacies of male bonding."
Movieline's Hollywood Life - Stephen Farber (12/01/2004)

"[A]s a painful, uproarious story of humanity, this is a perfectly contained cinematic experience."
Premiere - Glenn Kenny (02/01/2005)

"SIDEWAYS is a thoughtful, comic road movie about people going through some kind of breakdown."
Uncut - John Mulvey (02/01/2005)

"[T]he most likeable and affecting film that Payne has yet made."
Sight and Sound - Geoffrey Macnab (02/01/2005)

Ranked #5 in Uncut's Best Films Of 2005 -- "It's a heartbreaking study of life, loves and second chances, beautifully performed by the two leads."
Uncut - Uncut Staff (01/01/2006)

Reviews & Research

Customer Reviews

Average review score based on 48 user reviews

80%

of customers recommend this product

Rating distributions

Created: 03/13/07

Sideways Turns Several Lives Around

This movie is strictly a male-bonding movie. We have all known friends like the two main characters and maybe we are one of them. Miles Raymond , played by Paul Giamatti is pessimistic, has just had his book rejected by a publisher, and has been abandoned by his spouse who surfaces married and pregrant later in the movie. He is depressed and shows it. Thomas Haden Church plays his college friend, Jack, who is about to marry his girlfriend and seems to have everything going for him. He is also a past soap opera star and has a female following.

So Miles invites Jack on a week long bachelor party in California's wine district. Miles wants to find the perfect pinot noir. Jack wants to get laid as many times as possible before the wedding.

Both find romance in the terms that they want. Miles finds Maya (Virginia Madsen) recently widowed and lonely--a restaurant waitress, who remembers Miles from the last time he visited the motel. Jack finds Stephanie (Sandra Oh), a wine taster, who is looking for a father for her child. She is deceived about the upcoming wedding and after several turns in the hay finds out. While going ballistic, she messes up his nose but more importantly also messes up the relationship between Miles and Maya.

There is more to the plot, and the same ideas continue on the way back from the trip. At the end, we find Miles making one last, long ride back to Maya's apartment to see if she will forgive him for the deceit involving his friend and Stephanie.

My only complaint is that this question is not resolved. The movie ends with him climbing up the stairs.

This is strictly an adult movie. There is nudity--both male and female. My male friends loved it and laughed hysterically; my female friends felt that it was not so good. But in my opinion, it is throughly enjoyable and deserves the acclaim that it received.

And acclaim it did receive. Thomas Haden Church was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Virginia Madsen was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. The director, Alexander Payne, was nominated in that category. The movie was nominated for Best Picture. None of these won. However, the movie did win the Oscar for Best Writing.

For me, it wins for Best Male Bonding movie. It's much better than "Deliverance."

2 of 3 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 07/02/06

The Real Main Character

My wife and I had just returned from a drive through Napa, Sonoma, and Willamette Valley. We had visited 25 wineries in 9 days, tasted more cabs, pinots, and chards in one week than we ever thought possible, and along the way we read various books about viticulture. We returned home having transformed into enthusiastic oenophiles. Let's relax in front of the TV and watch a movie, I suggested, so tired of driving. Our new purchase of Sideways had arrived while we were gone, and it seemed the appropriate way to end a great vacation.

The story revolves around four character, two men on a drive through the wine country, and two women who the men meet along the way. Miles (Paul Giamatti) is a pathetic divorced man who dwells on his ex-wife, lingers a little too long over every glass of wine, and expresses himself in the writing of a lengthy manuscript that's destined never to be published. Jack (Thomas Haden Church) is a jock who's simply looking for a little action prior to throwing himself into a marriage we know won't last--a man who loves to drink but doesn't know the difference between a bordeaux and a burgundy. Maya (Virginia Madsen), a divorcee, is unimaginably tender and patient, sufficient to pull Miles out of his shell. Stephanie (Sandra Oh) is a hard-working single-mom who likes to have fun and would love to find a man who would also be a father to her child.

Unfortunately, the two men in the story come across as caricatures--too big, too absurd, and too melodramatic to be believed. Could anyone really be as selfish, crass, and uncaring as Jack? Could anyone be as self-absorbed and dysthymic as Miles?

Maya is a forgettable character, perhaps unlikable to the viewer simply because she's attracted to a man with as little dignity as Miles.

The tragic victim of the movie is Stephanie. No one deserves to be treated as she was, especially by an engaged man only a week before his wedding. Stephanie is the most vulnerable, and she's also the one who is hurt the most. The interactions between Jack and Stephanie make the movie almost painful to watch.

Finally, there is the Pinot Noir, the wine that somehow emerges as the main character of this movie. As the perfect glass is sought after, the wine begins to take on a life of its own: tender and fragile, yet with depth of character unequaled by any of the other stars in the movie. It is analgous to the bowl of udon in Tampopo. At the end of the movie, my only conclusion was that despite all the pain and suffering that life has to offer, somewhere there is a wonderful glass of Pinot Noir in which to find solace.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 10/06/06

sideways

Review For: Sideways (DVD, 2005, Full Screen)

Sideways is one of the best movies to appear on screen in a long time. Alexander Payne has not made a bad movie yet and this is by far his best work to date. Nominated for five Oscars and winner of the best screenplay. Paul Giamatti gives a great performance why the man has not won an Oscar yet has me bewildered. He has played great in every movie he has been in. ( Big Fat Liar, Cinderella Man, American Splendar, Paycheck) Thomas Hayden Church is funny as his college friend. The scenery is lush and the story will have you wanting more. Miles ( Paul) is a failed novilest who is going through a mid life crisis. He is depressed and divorced. One of the lines in the movie has stuck with me for a long time" You have been ofically depressed for like two years now" Jack ( Hayden Church) is getting married and wants to party hard before his wedding date. Miles takes him on a cross country wine tasting trip along the west coast you will never forget.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 02/26/07

Sideways

Review For: Sideways (DVD, 2005, Full Screen)

An honest look at adult relationships, with great performances by Sandra Oh, Paul Giamatti, Virginia Madsen and Thomas Haden Church. At times down right hilarious! This movie won the Golden Globe for best picture and was nominated for 5 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Two college pals, one recently divorced (Miles) and one getting married in a week (Jack), head to Northern California's wine country for a week long bachelor party. For Miles its all about good wine, good food, playing some golf, and enjoying the scenery. But for Jack, this trip is all about one thing- hooking up with as much fresh talent as he can before he gets married! A wonderfully funny movie, with beautiful cinematography, well directed, and a really cool soundtrack! A true contemporary classic. If you have not seen it, pick up a copy on Ebay today!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 06/07/06

A MASTERPIECE!

I BOUGHT THIS DVD, BECAUSE OF THE AUDIO COMMENTARIES AND TO ALSO WATCH THIS MOVIE WHENEVER I CHOOSE. PAUL GIAMATTI AND THOMAS HADEN CHURCH LEAD THE MOVIE WITH GREAT ACTING AND BELIEVABLE FEELINGS BOTH CHARACTERS FELT THROUGHOUT THE BEGINNING. SANDRA OH AND VIRGINIA MADSEN CAME IN LATER AND ALSO PUT ON OSCAR PERFORMANCES, THIS MOVIE WAS VERY FUNNY AND ALSO SAD IN MOST PARTS. THE MOVIE ALSO HAD CLEVER DIALOGUE AND GREAT DIRECTING. I HIGHTLY RECOMMEND THIS MOVIE TO ANYONE WHO LIKES COMEDY AND WHO LIKED ELECTION OR ABOUT SCHMIDT, THOSE MOVIES WERE QUITE SIMILAR TO THIS MOVIE. I ALSO RECOMMEND TO BUY THE DVD AS WELL, IT COMES WITH A FULL LENGHT COMMENTARY WITH PAUL GIAMATTI AND THOMAS HADEN CHURCH, AS WELL AS A BEHIND THE SCENES FEATURETTE AND DELETED SCENES WHICH ARE UPROARIOUS! 4.5/5 STARS!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

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