Saturday, October 27, 2012

Film review: Sideways (2004) by Alexander Payne, *****


Comedy drama which follows Miles (Paul Giamatti), an unsuccessful novelist, and Jack (Thomas Haden Church), an equally unsuccessful actor who is about to get married. They decide to take a trip to California in an attempt to sow their wild oats. 

There they explore the nature of their failures and question their relationships. Jack has an affair with Stephanie (Sandra Oh)  and wonders whether he should call off the marriage. Miles, recently divorced himself, questions whether or not he made the right decision while Maya (Virginia Madsen) plays a few games with him.


An excellent movie that is only marginally about wine. Yes we go through California's wine country and learn a lot about many different kinds of wine, and especially Pinot Noir.

But the movie by Alexander Payne is more about what we can do with ourselves and our lives with the hand we are dealt at birth and by chance. I identify very much with Miles, a not-so-good-looking but deep thinking fellow who is deeply passionate about what he loves, be it his lost ex-wife or Pinot Noir. But it is the Jacks of the world who have more fun: not so deep, not so careful, just happy go lucky types. 

The last scene of the movie leaves a door open to hope however: while Jack sinks unenthusiastically into his boring marriage, Miles finds the true love of his life.