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Sideways (2004)
4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
What's all the hoopla about???, 7 December 2005

So what is the deal with this movie being nominated for so many awards? I must be out of sync with the movie watching world. Paul Giamatti was the only thing that saved this movie from being a 1 in my opinion. Virginia Madsen had moments as well but Paul Giamatti really carried the entire movie alone in my opinion. I guess maybe part of the point was just how one dimensional Jack's character was but I can't help but feel that Thomas Hayden Church is just not a good actor. He seemed stiff and forced at trying to portray Jack. Were we supposed to buy that scene when he cried about not wanting to lose his fiancée, and believe that he finally had his epiphany? Or were we supposed to believe that he just can't stand the thought of being alone and facing that he has nothing real in his life? I just couldn't tell what direction his character was in because Thomas Hayden Churches acting was so darn deadpan just like on Wings. So I just don't see what the hoopla is about this movie or the actors...all except Paul Giamatti's acting. He was awesome! Award nominating material? I think not.

23 out of 29 people found the following review useful:
Good Movie, Brilliant Book, 11 February 2005

I loved "Widow For One Year" and was a bit skeptical about "A Door In The Floor". I just didn't see it translating well on screen and I have to admit I'm not a Kim Basinger fan either. Well I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the screenplay and the acting. Yes I felt sad that the other complex part of the story was omitted but after hearing John Irvings comments in the bonus features he put my sadness to rest. I completely see where he was coming from on the difficulties of portraying the other events to be true to the intended meaning. Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger were very compelling. Kim Basinger did a brilliant job at coming across as a sympathetic character while remaining emotional hardened in a state that allowed her to leave her daughter and sleep with a young teenage boy. One of the things I love best about John Irving is that he creates characters so flawed yet so redeemable and complex. He show the other side of the coin to making bad choices vs. good. He shows that to each screwed up life there are stories of how people get there and how everything around them contributes to who they become. Because of pain some submit to fears, some submit to pleasures, some submit to sorrow. And although some learn to conquer the emotions and pains of life, some don't, and for them it seems Irving wants us to see that they do the best they can to survive it and protect those they love in their own messed up ways. Underneath these characters that seem morally challenged is pain and the desire to survive it. I guess having said that it is sad that Ruth's story was never told. All things considered this was a very good movie based on a brilliant book.