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November 30, 2020 | Rome, Italy

Sideways

By | 2018-03-21T18:31:05+01:00 October 30th, 2004|Reviews|

2

Date: 2004

Director: Alexander Payne

Starring: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Sandra Oh, Virginia Madsen

A bittersweet buddy movie with an improbable modifier: wine and wine-making. And it had better work, because there’s nothing else remotely refreshing for miles around. Miles (Paul Giamatti) s a dumpy, neurotic writer who’s defined by midlife crisis. Jack (Thomas Haden Church) is a two-bit actor of egregious venality who’s about to get married before it’s too late. Miles’ present to Jack is a trip through California wine country. Director Alexander Payne (“Election,” “About Schmidt”) got the title right: his movie is a downbeat lateral with spasms of quirky humor generated mostly by sexual misfires. Vulnerability and superficiality — the values Miles and Jack forcibly embody — are intended to equal a kind of charm, or to invite compassion. But dislike the men and you dislike the movie, no offense to Giamatti and Church, who act well. Your call.

About the Author:

Marcia Yarrow
A military brat, Marcia Yarrow was born in Hamburg, Germany but grew up in Germany, Spain, and Provo, Utah. She's been writing for the magazine since its creation in 2004.

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