Alexander Payne's "Sideways" In Review-My Thoughts

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Alexander Payne's "Sideways" In Review-My Thoughts

Postby Eric G on Wed Oct 05, 2005 8:11 pm

I posted a message yesterday saying that I could not see myself giving this movie more than 2 stars, however I may have been a bit presumptuous on my decision. Not overly....but anyway. The movie is basically about Jack (Thomas Hayden Church) getting married and Miles (Paul Giamatti) taking him on a sophisticated week long journey of wine tasting, good food and golf, to help introduce his friend to the serious nous of matrimonial life. But Jack wants one big bang before his wedding. Literally. And decides to hook them both up with a couple of local gals, Maya (Virginia Madsen) and Stephanie (Sandra Oh)
However; the divorced Miles has a bit more self respect than Jack, and is always left behind picking up the pieces.
Miles finally lets go of his inhibitions and gets involved in a heavy conversation with Maya and things start to look up.

The things that stood out in this movie is the script/dialogue. I don't mind a movie that is relatively slow, and slightly intellectual, even mindless gore is OK. Just as long as the dialogue is there. Paul Giamatti's performance as Miles, was fantastic. The delivery of simple and boring lines, like why he thinks a Pinot is the most brilliant wine that could ever touch your lips, draws you in and makes you smile uncontrollably. And I don't even drink wine! But hearing Miles (Giamatti) talk about how delicate the grape is....oh look, I cant put it into words so here is the line:

I don't know. It's a hard grape to grow. As you know. It's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's not a survivor like Cabernet that can grow anywhere and thrive even when neglected. Pinot needs constant care and attention and in fact can only grow in specific little tucked-away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing growers can do it really, can tap into Pinot's most fragile, delicate qualities. Only when someone has taken the time to truly understand its potential can Pinot be coaxed into its fullest expression. And when that happens, its flavours are the most haunting and brilliant and subtle and thrilling and ancient on the planet.

GREAT dialogue, and a great performance. Thomas Hayden Church held his own pretty well, surprisingly enough, and watching Sideways I could almost see him playing Sandman in the upcoming Superman movie. (Christ, if they cast him as Eddie Brock/Venom, I will be boycotting!)

Although the movie was a little slow, it always kept you wanting to know what was next for our two misguided friends. The quirky and "smart" comedic style of the movie is one other thing that kept me watching. (You must watch this movie even it is for the scene where Church chases a golf caddy waving his clubs around like a madman and screaming. Priceless!)
The ending is something that was also a nice surprise. Although the film may have gone for 20 minutes too long, it is an ending that left you smiling and thinking.....
I wont say much on it, but my first thoughts of 2 stars have now been over ruled. 2.5 out of 5 for me. 3 out of 5 if you like this sort of thing.....
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Postby Eric G on Wed Oct 05, 2005 8:50 pm

Can someone throw this in the DVD review section? I kinda fuked up.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:18 pm

No Mods! LOL
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:59 am

Eric G wrote:Can someone throw this in the DVD review section? I kinda fuked up.


Ask and ye' shall receive!
Personally, I'm an atheist in the voting booth and a theist in the movie theatre. I separate the morality of religion with the spirituality and solace of it. There is something boring about atheism.
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Postby Tubbs Tattsyrup on Sat Dec 10, 2005 4:29 am

Sideways is an awesome, amazing film. The writing and acting (from all the main players) is first-class. It's my favourite movie of 2004. And that's above Spidey 2 and Motorcycle Diaries.

Somebody give Paul Giamatti an Oscar, already. He's been ignored for this and American Splendor...maybe he'll get a supporting actor one for Cinderella Man. If not, well, the Oscars suck anyway.
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Postby Chief Redcock on Sat Dec 10, 2005 5:07 am

I like the film quite a bit. I like Payne's subdued direction and Giammatti's (sp?) anguished yet hilarious performance. There's a great story, and everything comes together very nicely. My main issue with the film is with Giammatti's love interest... I can't remember her name, I know that's awful, but (1) she seemed too young and attractive to plausibly play that character's love interest. I'm sorry, but no way... (2) she and giammatti seemed to lack chemistry to me. I may be roundly shouted down for writing this, but I feel it to be true... she seems like a fine actress, in another role she might be perfect, but here? Stiff as a board, and kind of wondering what she was doing in this film trying to like this sad sack guy. It's just a vibe the film gave me that I didn't like... she was "the girl" but she never had any real motivations.
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Postby Coldfire24 on Sat Dec 10, 2005 5:46 am

keepcoolbutcare wrote:
Eric G wrote:Can someone throw this in the DVD review section? I kinda fuked up.


Ask and ye' shall receive!



Mods==cool people with witty sayings.
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