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.
In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Clifton Collins Jr.,
A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century".
Jean François Heckel,
A week before his friend Jack is to be married, best man Miles and the prospective groom head off to wine country for a week of fun, relaxation and - of course - wine drinking. Miles is the oenophile and does his best to teach Jack a bit about the art of appreciating great wine. All Jack cares about is drinking and carousing, something he accomplishes when he meets the attractive Stephanie at one of the vineyards. Miles is something of a sad sack, a high school English teacher who is a failed writer at heart. He has yet to get over the fact that his wife has divorced him and that she has remarried and he now faces that nerve racking wait for word from a prospective publisher. Miles has an opportunity to start anew when he meets Stephanie's friend Maya but when he let's slip that Jack is about to be married any hope of a relationship seems to be lost. Written by
Most of the wine used in the wine-tasting scenes was non-alcoholic. The actors wound up drinking so much of it that it made them nauseated (and had to periodically switch to the real thing to clean out their palates). Thomas Haden Church estimated that grape juice or non-alcoholic wine was what they consumed 95 percent of the time. Conversely, Paul Giamatti claimed the actors drank real wine, and that he was actually very drunk after shooting a dinner scene. See more »
While Miles makes his protest of Cabernet Franc and Merlot well
known, the bottle of 61 Cheval Blanc is from Bordeaux, a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. This is entirely logical: Merlot from California is widely considered to be inferior; Cabernet Franc is a grape used primarily in blending. On their own, both wines are well less than stellar. Cheval Blanc is indeed a Bordeaux blend of Cab Franc and Merlot (and a few other grapes), but in their Bordeaux incarnations their grapes produce an excellent red wine. Indeed many Bordeaux producers use the two grapes in their Bordeaux blends; the California incarnations of the two grapes are just not all that great. Miles' sentiment is shared by many wine lovers around the world - even those from central California. See more »
Excellent expose of narcissism on two sides of the same coin
A woman's take on this is probably not the same as a man's. Initially I was put off by Charles Hayden's Church's character crudeness and Giamatti's character's repulsiveness but that changed was I was able to look below the surface. By the end of the movie, I felt very sorry for Church as he was not only dumb and shallow, he was actually so empty that whatever female was before him became a mirror of his need to connect with anything that felt like caring. Church did a fabulous job and was incredibly believable as a has-been wannabe, desperate to hold on to his dream of the kind of good life that is bought by charm and good looks. He is just on the edge or realizing his time is running out and that is a whole lot for this character to absorb as he has never given much to the concept of "thought."
Giammeti is a pitiful, self-absorbed, destructive, depressed alcoholic whose in possession of two "things." He knows a great deal about wine and he has written a book. Nothing else informs him. Yet his performance is so nuanced that we are able to fill in his depth of character and decency primarily through his huge, limpid eyes. What a performance. He should have been nominated for an academy award. This is a role that comes along once-in-a-lifetime for this type of character actor, like Liza in Cabaret.
The women are really nothing more than backdrops or props for the men to expose themselves. Madsen is lovely but you do wonder what on earth she really sees in this man. While he may be redeemable, he is really pretty much a self-absorbed jerk. It is most interesting that this film has been released at the same time as Closer, as they are similar in their exploration of self-absorption. Though Closer explores how destructive its characters are to each other, in the end, Closer is not as intimate and seems more artificial than the sweetly revealing Sideways.
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