Thursday, March 03, 2005

Sideways



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.

3 comments:

Frank Strovel III said...

"Sideways" is due for release on DVD on April 5.

Del said...

I adored this film, but I didn't find myself disliking the Miles character, more I felt sorry for him, he seemed lost, like he didn't know what he was doing.

ella m. said...

I had a major problem with this movie sheerly because of the fact that the two main character had no redeeming characteristics whatsoever. Why should we care if the novel gets published or if either character gets the girl(s)? The ladies totally carried the movie. The drama seemed a tad forced, the main characters seem to have zero reason to like each other, let alone be best friends and there were only a few places where the comedy worked. A good film, but far from a great one in my humble opinion.

In an unrelated note, since you are a comic book fan have you ever read Powers by Brian Michael Bendis? You should check it out, its a fantastic blend of crime drama, superheroes and just a touch of film noir.