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Sideways (2004)


Duration 2h 7m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story A book of the same name by Rex Pickett
Director Alexander Payne
Writers/Script Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
Starring Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh

Elevator Pitch: Miles and Jack, a couple of old college chums, embark on a wine tasting experience in the Californian vineyards in the week before Jack’s marriage. Miles is a recently divorced failed novelist, prone to depression and Jack is a former soap star who uses his almost fame to get off with girls. When they meet Stephanie, who is a lot of fun, and Maya, who is serious but charming,  their week takes off, but as the days tick by things must come to a head.

Content: There is sex and nudity, plus quite a bit of wine drinking and some drunkeness.We see our heroes driving along country roads, engaging in a lot of wine drinking in the wineries of the state. This apparently requires you to take a sip and spit the rest out. They dine quite a bit as well and spend time in the lady’s houses, which are quite nice as seems to be usual in California, even waitresses appearing to be extremely well housed.

A View: This outing was really well liked by the critics. My wife and I had seen it in the cinema, but on the smaller screen my attention wandered a bit. But I did laugh out loud once or twice and there are a couple of surprising events. The screenplay won an Oscar and a Golden Globe and the actors received many nominations.  Despite its popularity it may now depend on your taste whether you would like it or not, but at least worth your time of you like light comedy.

Additional Info: Miles, the wine expert, disses Merlot apparently causing a worldwide reduction in sales of wine made with that grape.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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