Sideways movie review

Back in early November my friend Lelah, in an email, told me about the movie Sideways.  I quickly looked and found the trailer on the web and saw that it was in limited release in NYC and LA.  As luck would have it, it also was playing in Seattle.  Of course I never got around to seeing it until today.  Since then it has made full release, although in the Seattle area it is only playing in four theatres, and it also has seven Golden Globe nominations.
The movie really caught my eye in the trailer.  I have to say that mixed feelings on Alexander Payne’s work.  I liked Election but I really did not like the story behind About Schmidt although thinking about Kathy Bates’s character in that film still makes me laugh.
Let me say that I really liked this film.  Spoilers follow so only read on knowing you have been warned.
I came out of Sideways with two main thoughts.  The first was that I want to get back into better understanding wine.  I have a half way decent size bottle collection but it all just sits on the rack.  I never seem to drink it and I just know what I like without doing a lot of exploring of other wines.  The second was that the movie really enforced the thought that nothing good can come from a lie.
I think this was the first role where I did not instantly think of the TV series Wings or Ned & Stacey when I saw Thomas Haden Church.  He still plays kind of the dumb character but in this role what is most important to him is himself and his happiness.  Paul Giamatti plays his best role to date.  I have to say that the film itself is just lovely to look at.  The visual are just great.  It also reminds me that I need to get to the California wine country — Eastern Washington seems a lot more drab to me.
In the story Church is on the verge of getting married and his best man, Giamatti, takes him off to what is to be a week of wine tasking and golf in the wine country.  Church has other plans for the week, first and foremost to get himself and his best man, who has been divorced for two years, laid.  Giamatti is great as the wine expert and he seems to travel to the wine country a bunch.  He also is a budding writer who’s work is always being rejected. To make a long story short (which does a disjustice to the movie but I am kind of lazy to write tonight) they hook up with a couple of local women in Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh.  Gaimatti has known Madesn for awhile but this is the first chance he can make a move because she had been married.  Church presents the visit to the area to celebrate Giamatti getting published.  Needless to say that later Oh finds out that he is in fact the reason for thier celibration and that before the week is over he will be leaving her (and he has told her that he loves her) to be married.  This movie has many scense where the whole audience was laughing.  The laughing was so loud and long that you could not hear the dialog after the bunch lines at times.  The writing was really solid unlike my writing in this blog entry (is it ever any good?).  This is a really great movie.  The story, the acting, the visuals, all great.  Do not wait as long as I did to see it and search it out and make it the next movie you see.


About Aaron Bregel

Just trying to get by
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