More About Sideways
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.
2004 - Academy Awards - Best Adapted Screenplay Winner
Main Cast & Crew
Alexander Payne - Director
Thomas Haden Church
THEATRICAL RELEASE: OCTOBER 20, 2004 This film screened as part of the 42nd New York Film Festival sponsored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
"[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." - 10/22/2004 Los Angeles Times, p.E1
"This is a building-block movie: Its stand-out excellence becomes apparent only gradually..." - 10/22/2004 USA Today, p.5E
"[The film] fuses bracing wit and emotional gravity into something funny, touching and vital....Pure movie bliss." - 11/11/2004 Rolling Stone, p.115
"It's an intoxicating feeling when a movie excites and enlivens us like this..." - 10/29/2004 Entertainment Weekly, p.46
"[O]ne of the most incisive movies ever made about the intricacies of male bonding." - 12/01/2004 Movieline's Hollywood Life, p.1103
"[A]s a painful, uproarious story of humanity, this is a perfectly contained cinematic experience." - 02/01/2005 Premiere, p.50
"SIDEWAYS is a thoughtful, comic road movie about people going through some kind of breakdown." - 02/01/2005 Uncut, p.102
"[T]he most likeable and affecting film that Payne has yet made." - 02/01/2005 Sight and Sound, p.68-70
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." - 01/01/2006 Uncut, p.82-83