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.
A psychologically troubled novelty supplier is nudged towards a romance with an English woman, all the while being extorted by a phone-sex line run by a crooked mattress salesman, and purchasing stunning amounts of pudding.
Paul Thomas Anderson
Philip Seymour Hoffman
A couple who is expecting their first child travel around the U.S. in order to find a perfect place to start their family. Along the way, they have misadventures and find fresh connections with an assortment of relatives and old friends who just might help them discover "home" on their own terms for the first time.
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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