Excerpt: Miles (Paul Giamatti) and his friend Jack (Thomas Hayden Church) once had visions of lives in which all their dreams would be realized, with fame, fortune, and all that goes with immense success. Miles was to be a prominent author, someone whose words could create entire worlds and spark imaginations, but sadly, he never lived out that dream. Instead, he has a dull and meager existence, as his failures as a writer have driven him to become a teacher.
Conclusion: 'Sideways' follows an odd couple of friends whose last ditch effort to make something of their lives is a disaster worth watching. The humor doesn't dip to the lowest common denominator, and it's balanced by some strong acting by all four actors. Still, this Blu-ray isn't a huge improvement over the DVD, and the lack of upgrades across the board make's it a highly recommended rental.
Excerpt: A wine-tasting road trip through California's famed Central Coast takes an unexpected detour as Miles and Jack hit the gas en route to their mid-life crisis. The comically mismatched pair soon find themselves drowning in wine, women...and laughter.
Conclusion: Sideways is a remarkable film. It explores some pretty dark territory while accenting Miles' downward spiral of self-doubt and loneliness with a genuinely subtle and intelligent sense of humor. Regardless of whether or not you happen to be a wine drinker, the film offers highly original storytelling and remarkable performances that continue to resonate to this day.
Summary: Writer-director Alexander Payne finds the perfect representative for his special brand of mid-life despair, sending the always-wonderful Paul Giamatti on a bachelor's wine tasting road trip with old college buddy Thomas Haden Church. Vintage Payne.
Excerpt: Sideways tells the deceptively simple tale of two middle-aged friends who drive up the Californian coast together to spend a week tasting wine. The trip is to celebrate the impending wedding of Jack (Thomas Haden Church), a down-on-his-luck actor who's landed himself a wealthy fianc�e. Accompanying him is Miles (Paul Giamatti), a schoolteacher and aspiring novelist who has been his best friend since they shared a room in college.
Excerpt: In the opening minutes of Alexander Payne's wonderful road comedy Sideways , Paul Giamatti gives the first impression of an unkempt California layabout of Big Lebowski proportions. A divorced misanthrope slouching into middle age, Giamatti is scheduled to embark on a weeklong trip through wine country with his old college buddy Thomas Haden Church, but he wakes up late, throws on a tattered brown robe, and absorbs a round of petty humiliations first.
Excerpt: I’d like to propose a toast to Paul Giamatti, who manages, yet again, to portray the unlikely hero in such a way that irritably dazzles onscreen. First, it was his depiction of comic writer Harvey Peykar in American Splendor . Now, it’s the recently divorced, unpublished author and schoolteacher Miles Raymond in the dark and dry comedy Sideways . Miles (Giamatti), wine connoisseur extraordinaire, has a track record fit for disaster. His escape? The perfect Pinot Noir.