Thursday, March 03, 2005
Now that the Oscar season is over I'm finally getting a chance to catch up on some of the nominated films ($7.50 for a matinee! It's no wonder that my personal movie theater attendance is down of late...)
This is, as I had heard, a wonderful little movie. I have a strong fondness for character-driven stories with strong dialogue, complex characters, and an unwillingness to settle for glib answers and pat resolutions. "Sideways" certainly fits the bill on all of these counts.
Paul Giamatti's performance is indeed as deliciously layered and subtle as I had heard and Thomas Haden Church is more than fine as well. I didn't like their characters...one is a pompous, neurotic, self-loathing borderline alcoholic (and a liar and a thief to boot), the other is a immature, self-centered manipulator (and, again, a willful liar to boot)...but I found them compelling to watch despite (or maybe because of) that fact.
Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh, both giving delightful life to their characters, are more sympathetic in vital supporting roles.
I'm actually looking forward to seeing this movie again when it comes out on DVD because, despite some very beautiful locales, it's emphasis on character and quiet moments may be given an interesting new dimension when brought down from the expansive canvas of the movie screen to the intimate space of the television screen...we shall see.