A middle-aged Japanese man travels to California to attend the wedding of his American-based friend. Prior to the big event, they take one last trip to Napa Valley, where they taste wine, dally with romance.
The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.
Miles is a failed writer living a meager existence in San Diego as an English teacher. With his career seemingly fading and the fate of a book hinging on a publisher's decision, Miles is depressed with himself and what he hasn't achieved. Jack is a television actor whom some recognize but not many do, as if he were a minor actor who got a taste of success. With his best friend Miles, the two embark on a road trip through California's wine country. Miles wants to give his friend a nice sendoff before married life, while Jack simply wants to have a fling beforehand. As they're both nearing middle age with not much to show for it, the two will explore the vineyards while ultimately searching for their identities. Written by
Sideways is a beautiful portrait of mid life disappointment. The backdrop is lovely California wine country, and the casting is flawless. Every single performance in this film is surprising, pitch perfect, and unusual. The movie has the remarkable ability to capture sadness and desperation in just the light that allows the audience to recognize the humor. The ending is satisfying but not too pat. In short, this is the best film of 2004.
The standout performance in the film was Paul Giamatti's. I cannot believe he was passed over for an Oscar this year. He should have been nominated for American Splendor, and he definitely should have been nominated for Sideways. His performance was beautiful, romantic, heartbreaking and so human. Paul Giamatti, ignore the Academy! Every year they have less credibility. The people who know films and acting at all know that you are one in a handful of truly great actors working in Hollywood today.
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