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Encyclopedia > Sideways
Sideways
Directed by Alexander Payne
Produced by Michael London
Written by Novel:
Rex Pickett
Screenplay:
Alexander Payne
Jim Taylor
Starring Paul Giamatti as Miles
Thomas Haden Church as Jack
Virginia Madsen as Maya
Sandra Oh as Stephanie
Music by Rolfe Kent
Distributed by Fox Searchlight
Release date(s) October 22, 2004
Running time 123 min
Country USA USA
Language English
Budget $16,000,000
Gross revenue $109,502,303
IMDb profile

Sideways is a 2004 Academy Award-winning and Golden Globe Award-winning comedy/drama film, co-written and directed by Alexander Payne. It is based on the 2004 novel of the same name by Rex Pickett. Promotional poster for Sideways File links The following pages link to this file: Sideways Categories: Fair use posters ... Constantine Alexander Payne (born February 10, 1961 in Omaha, Nebraska) is an American film director and screenwriter. ... Michael London is a film producer. ... Rex Pickett (July 9, 1952) is an American screenwriter and director, and has also published one novel, Sideways. ... Constantine Alexander Payne (born February 10, 1961 in Omaha, Nebraska) is an American film director and screenwriter. ... This article is about the screenwriter; Jim Taylor is also an NFL football player. ... Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti (born June 6, 1967) is an Academy Award-nominated American actor. ... Thomas Haden Church (born June 17, 1960[1]) is an Academy Award-nominated American film and television actor. ... Virginia Madsen (born September 11, 1961) is an American actress. ... Sandra Oh (born July 20, 1971) is a Golden Globe Award-winning and Emmy Award-nominated Canadian actress. ... Rolfe Kent (born 1963 in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England) is a film score composer. ... Fox Searchlight Pictures is the specialty films division of Twentieth Century Fox. ... is the 295th day of the year (296th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... shelby was here 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A minute is a unit of time equal to 1/60th of an hour and to 60 seconds. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... The year 2004 in film involved some significant events. ... Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent and most watched film awards ceremony in the world. ... The Golden Globe Award The Golden Globe Awards are American awards for motion pictures and television programs, given out each year during a formal dinner. ... Comedy film is a film genre designed to be humorous. ... A drama film is a film that depends mostly on in-depth character development, interaction, and highly emotional themes. ... Constantine Alexander Payne (born February 10, 1961 in Omaha, Nebraska) is an American film director and screenwriter. ... Sideways: The Ultimate Road Trip, the Last Hurrah is a 2004 novel by Rex Pickett. ... Rex Pickett (July 9, 1952) is an American screenwriter and director, and has also published one novel, Sideways. ...


Tagline: "In search of wine. In search of women. In search of themselves."

Contents

Plot summary

Paul Giamatti plays Miles, a divorced, unpublished writer, eighth-grade English teacher and oenophile, who takes his soon-to-be-married actor friend and old college roommate, Jack (played by Thomas Haden Church) on a week-long road trip through Santa Ynez Valley wine country. Miles wants to drink wine, eat great food, play golf, and send Jack off in style. However, Jack is more interested in "sowing his wild oats" and having one last sexually libertine week. Soon after their arrival in wine country, they meet Maya (Virginia Madsen), a waitress at Miles' favorite restaurant, and Stephanie (Sandra Oh), a winery employee who happens to be friends with Maya. Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti (born June 6, 1967) is an Academy Award-nominated American actor. ... Oenophiles are devoted to wine. ... Thomas Haden Church (born June 17, 1960[1]) is an Academy Award-nominated American film and television actor. ... The Santa Ynez Valley is a river valley located in Santa Barbara County, California, between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the San Rafael Mountains. ... Virginia Madsen (born September 11, 1961) is an American actress. ... Sandra Oh (born July 20, 1971) is a Golden Globe Award-winning and Emmy Award-nominated Canadian actress. ...


Neither tells the women about Jack's impending nuptials the next weekend. Jack soon finds himself in a sexual and romantic imbroglio with Stephanie, which inevitably puts an abrupt end to Miles' plan for taking Jack out for a good time. Although more than a little reluctant, Miles is willing to entertain Jack's antics, convinced of the temporary nature of his newfound relationship with Stephanie. Miles' decision to indulge Jack's philandering ways is also influenced by his decision, with Jack's strong encouragement, to begin to act on the crush he's developed on Maya. Soon, Jack's relationship with Stephanie accelerates, putting Miles in a precarious predicament as he continues to court Maya casually. Inevitably, Miles and Jack grow frustrated with one another. They carry on in spite of themselves.

Paul Giamatti as Miles and Thomas Haden Church as Jack
Paul Giamatti as Miles and Thomas Haden Church as Jack

Eventually, Miles consummates his relationship with Maya. The next day, he lets slip the upcoming rehearsal dinner, which leads to his revelation of the upcoming wedding. An infuriated Maya, in turn, breaks the news to Stephanie, who becomes apoplectic and mercilessly attacks Jack, smashing his nose with her motorcycle helmet, which requires him to get medical treatment at a hospital. Miles and Jack later have a tense conversation where Miles flatly denies that he ever said anything about Jack's engagement to Maya. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1029x919, 165 KB)Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (Thomas Haden Church) in a still image from Sideways (2004) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1029x919, 165 KB)Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (Thomas Haden Church) in a still image from Sideways (2004) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... A rehearsal dinner is a pre-wedding ceremony in Western tradition, usually held after the wedding rehearsal and the night before the wedding ceremony. ... Nuptial is the adjective of wedding. It is used for example in zoology to denote plumage, coloration, behavior, etc related to or occurring in the mating season. ... Apoplexy is an old-fashioned medical term, generally used interchangeably with cerebrovascular accident (CVA or stroke) but having other meanings as well. ...


Miles hopes that this is the end of Jack's behavior as they settle down to a barbecue dinner. Undaunted, Jack spots Cammi, a heavy-set waitress, who recognizes Jack and whom he dubs 'two tons of fun'. He goes home with her, leaving an irritated Miles once again to his own devices. Back at the hotel, Miles is awakened in the middle of the night by a naked Jack, who confesses that a cuckolded husband arrived home from work and caught Jack in flagrante delicto with his wife, and he was forced to escape in the nude and run five kilometers back to the motel. Jack reveals that unfortunately, he has left his wallet behind, which contained custom-designed wedding bands. He desperately wants to retrieve his belongings, but needs Miles' help. Initially, Miles laughs at the situation and refuses to help Jack, as he believes the incorrigible skirt-chaser may finally have learned a lesson. However, Miles sees the desperation in his friend's breakdown, and agrees to help him by driving him back to Cammi's house. After Jack pleads he's in no fit state, Miles reluctantly agrees to personally reclaim the wallet by sneaking into the garbage-strewn dwelling to retrieve it, passing by the Rubenesque couple, who are now engaged in sex themselves. He retrieves the wallet, but is spotted and is chased down the street by the enraged, portly, naked husband. In flagrante delicto or sometimes simply in flagrante (Latin: while [the crime] is blazing) is a legal term used to indicate that a criminal has been caught in the act of committing an offense (compare corpus delicti). ... A white gold wedding band with a diamond studded yellow gold engagement ring. ... The Adoration of the Magi, painted 1624. ...


To finish off the weekend, Jack runs Miles' red Saab 900 convertible into a tree and then into a ditch, in order to have corroborating evidence for his story that a car accident mangled his face. The ploy works, much to Miles' chagrin. Jack's fiancee sympathizes with his injuries. See Saab 900 (NG) (a. ... Saab 900 Convertible 1962 Rambler American Convertible can also refer to a convertible (security) A convertible (sometimes called cabriolet in British English) is a car body style with a folding or retracting roof (aka soft top or top in USA, hood in UK). ...


Miles' ex-wife Victoria is still friendly with Jack, and is at the wedding. During the road trip, Jack had revealed that Victoria remarried, but his romantic feelings for her are still strong. At the ceremony, Victoria tells Miles she is pregnant. Miles congratulates her and is also introduced to her new husband, but abruptly decides to skip the wedding reception and instead return to his dingy apartment in San Diego, where he fetches his prized bottle of wine, a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc, and drinks it from a styrofoam cup at a fast-food restaurant. Flag Seal Nickname: Americas Finest City Location Location of San Diego within San Diego County Coordinates , Government County San Diego Mayor City Attorney         City Council District One District Two District Three District Four District Five District Six District Seven District Eight Jerry Sanders (R) Michael Aguirre Scott Peters Kevin... Château Cheval Blanc Château Cheval Blanc, is a winery in Saint-Émilion in the Bordeaux region of France. ...


It seems that this is the end for Miles, but Maya eventually returns his apologetic phone call. She has read his unpublished manuscript, and a letter of apology that he sent to her. Touched by his sentimental side, she leaves a message on his machine telling him that she cannot believe the book was turned down, as she admires it, but is also confounded by portions of it, which she asks him about. This reveals to us portions of his novel that, in turn, reveal events in Miles' life that may have shaped his bleak perspective on the world, particularly his father's suicide. The film ends with Miles again driving north, standing on Maya's doorstep, and knocking on the door.


Critical Reaction

Time Out London said the film was "intelligent, funny and moving,"[1] and the Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert, giving the film four stars, said, "what happens during the seven days adds up to the best human comedy of the year -- comedy, because it is funny, and human, because it is surprisingly moving."[2] The distinctive Time Out logo, seen on all its publications Time Out is a publishing company based in London, England. ... The Chicago Sun-Times is an American daily newspaper published in Chicago. ... Roger Joseph Ebert (June 18, 1942) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American film critic. ...


Awards and Nominations

Sideways won the following awards:
Academy Awards: The Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay is one of the Academy Awards, the most prominent film awards in the United States. ...

BAFTA Awards: Constantine Alexander Payne (born February 10, 1961 in Omaha, Nebraska) is an American film director and screenwriter. ... This article is about the screenwriter; Jim Taylor is also an NFL football player. ... The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), is a British organization that hosts annual awards shows for film, television, childrens film and television, and interactive media. ...

  • Adapted Screenplay (Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor)

Golden Globe Awards: The Golden Globe Awards are American awards for motion pictures and television programs, given out each year during a formal dinner. ...

  • Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy
  • Best Screenplay
  • Nomination - Best Musical Score

Gotham Awards: IFP/New York is a twenty-five-year-old, not-for-profit membership and advocacy organization serving the independent film community as a source for networking and support while promoting film as a vital and influential public art form. ...

  • Best Picture

National Board of Review of Motion Pictures: The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures was founded in 1909 in New York City, just 13 years after the birth of cinema, to protest New York City Mayor George B. McClellan, Jr. ...

  • Top Ten Film of 2004
  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Best Adapted Screenplay

IFP Independent Spirit Awards: Founded in 1984, the Independent Spirit Awards were originally known as the FINDIE (Friends of Independents) Awards and presented winners with Plexiglas pyramids containing suspended shoestrings representing the paltry budgets of independent films. ...

  • Best Male Lead
  • Best Supporting Male
  • Best Supporting Female
  • Best Screenplay
  • Best Director
  • Best Feature (won in all categories it was nominated for).

New York Film Critics Circle Awards: New York Film Critics Circle Awards are given annually to honor excellence in cinema worldwide by an organization of film reviewers from New York City-based publications. ...

  • Best Film

Screen Actors Guild Award: The Screen Actors Guild (S.A.G.) is the labor union representing over 120,000 film actors in the United States. ...

It was nominated for the following awards: Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti (born June 6, 1967) is an Academy Award-nominated American actor. ... Sandra Oh (born July 20, 1971) is a Golden Globe Award-winning and Emmy Award-nominated Canadian actress. ... Thomas Haden Church (born June 17, 1960[1]) is an Academy Award-nominated American film and television actor. ... Virginia Madsen (born September 11, 1961) is an American actress. ...

  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical or Comedy, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Original Score, and Best Director, Golden Globe Awards
  • Academy Awards for Best Picture, Church as Best Supporting Actor, Madsen as Best Supporting Actress

// The Academy Award for Best Motion Picture is one of the Academy Awards, awards given to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which are voted on by others within the industry. ... The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor is one of the awards given to male actors working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ... The Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role is one of the awards given to actresses working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ...

Post-release

A surprise hit, Sideways became popular in Hollywood, the US and internationally. Santa Ynez Valley, where much of the film is set, attracted increased tourism. The film was nominated for dozens of awards, winning many, and was dubbed "the best reviewed movie of 2004". With the exception of Giamatti, who had already starred in critically acclaimed films such as American Splendor, the film was a career breakthrough for the relatively unknown stars. Both Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen were nominated for Oscars. Paul Giamatti has since been headlined as "The World's Best Character Actor" by Time Magazine. Giamatti was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Oscar for his performance in 2005's Cinderella Man. Sandra Oh, who has since broken up with the film's director, Alexander Payne, has gone on to star in Grey's Anatomy for which she won a Golden Globe and the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) Award. Church went on to play a prominent role in the blockbuster Spider-Man 3. The Santa Ynez Valley is a river valley located in Santa Barbara County, California, between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the San Rafael Mountains. ... American Splendor is a biopic / film adaptation of the comic book series of the same name by Harvey Pekar. ... (Clockwise from upper left) Time magazine covers from May 7, 1945; July 25, 1969; December 31, 1999; September 14, 2001; and April 21, 2003. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the television series. ... Look up Sag in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Spider-Man 3 is a 2007 superhero film written and directed by Sam Raimi, with a screenplay by Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent. ...


Trivia

  • Director Payne created the wine list for the film.
  • George Clooney campaigned for the part of Jack, but Payne thought the actor was too big a star.
  • Near the end of the movie, a student is reading aloud from the book A Separate Peace by John Knowles. The particular portion being read is Gene describing his emotions upon his friend Phinneas' death. This scene was filmed at Cabrillo High School in Vandenberg Village.
  • Film dialogue from Henry Fonda's famous "I'll be there" speech from The Grapes of Wrath can be heard in hotel room.
  • During an emotional scene in the film, Miles talks with great passion about Pinot Noir. After the release of this movie, sales of Pinot Noir wines rose by more than 20 percent over the 2004-05 Christmas/New Year period, compared to the same period the previous year[citation needed]. A similar phenomenon was experienced in British wine outlets. Miles is deeply disparaging, in a different scene, about Merlot, and sales dropped after the film came out[citation needed]. Ironically, Miles's prized bottle of wine, a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc, is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, another grape Miles disparaged.
  • When Miles visits his mother, photographs are visible on the dresser showing Giamatti with his real-life father, the late Bart Giamatti.
  • Actress Sandra Oh took motorcycle lessons after she landed the role of Stephanie.
  • The dialogue at dinner between Miles, Jack, Maya and Stephanie was improvised.
  • Giamatti, Church and Marylouise Burke were sickened with food poisoning from the dinner scene with Miles' mother.
  • Much of the wine consumed during the film was non-alcoholic or a grape juice substitute. Sometimes the actors switched over to real wine to cleanse their palates.
  • One of the fictional vineyards Miles and Jack visit during their vacation is called "Frass Canyon", which Miles says with a sneer. Frass is insect excrement, and the name was used as a substitute for that of actor and vintner Fess Parker, who wouldn't allow his name to be used in the film.
  • When Miles hits the ball back at the golfers behind them, the person who actually hit the ball was Rex Pickett, author of the novel the film was based on. He claims that Giamatti's exceptionally poor golf form made it impossible for him to accomplish the shot.
  • Part of Payne's reasoning for casting actors who weren't as well known, such as Giamatti and Church, was to prove to movie studios that not all successful movies are star-driven.[citation needed]
  • Jack talks in the film about giving up acting and taking a secure job in the housing firm of his father-in-law. In Spanglish, Church plays a real estate agent.
  • Giamatti reveals in a DVD commentary that the majority of people with whom he had watched the film were taken to a different, incorrect conclusion by the ending. While rummaging in a box for what was in fact his prized bottle of wine, Giamatti made light of the scene, noting that "most of America expect me to get a Luger out here, and blow my brains out".
  • Jack is an actor who has specialized in voice-over work after struggling to find on-screen work. Church, who plays Jack, around the time the movie was released was semi-retired from on-screen work and was mostly doing voice overs for many different radio and TV commercials. His on-screen career has been revived thanks to his role in Sideways.
  • Both Church and Giamatti played computer-animated pest control experts in 2006, in Over The Hedge and The Ant Bully respectively.
  • The house used for scenes outside the home of the parents of Jack's fiance Christine is almost directly across the street from O.J. Simpson's former estate at 360 N. Rockingham Ave. in Brentwood, California.
  • Paul Giamatti, while seemingly very knowledgable of fine wines in the film, has admitted that he doesn't care for it at all.

George Timothy Clooney (born May 6, 1961) is an Academy Award- and two-time Golden Globe-winning American actor, director, producer and screenwriter, known for his role in the first five seasons of the long-running television drama ER (1994–99), and his rise as an A-List movie star... A Separate Peace (1959) is an award-winning[1]novel written by John Knowles set in the fictional Devon School in New Hampshire during World War II. The book explores the human condition, hate, vengeance, and guilt. ... A 1945 graduate of the Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, Knowles graduated from Yale University in 1949. ... Henry Jaynes Fonda (May 16, 1905 – August 12, 1982) was a highly acclaimed Academy Award-winning American film actor, best known for his roles as plain-speaking idealists. ... The Grapes of Wrath is a 1940 film directed by John Ford. ... Pinot noir is a red wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. ... Merlot grapes on the vine. ... Cabernet Franc is a red wine grape variety similar to and a parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. ... Angelo Bartlett Bart Giamatti (April 4, 1938 - September 1, 1989) was the President of Yale University, and later, the 7th commissioner of Major League Baseball in the United States. ... Frass refers to insect droppings or excrement. ... Fess Parker (born August 16, 1924) is an American film and television actor. ... Rex Pickett (July 9, 1952) is an American screenwriter and director, and has also published one novel, Sideways. ... Spanglish is a 2004 American film written and directed by James L. Brooks, and starring Adam Sandler, Téa Leoni, Paz Vega, and Cloris Leachman. ... The Parabellum-Pistole (Pistol Parabellum), popularly known as the Luger pistol is a semi-automatic self-loading pistol patented by Georg Luger in 1898 and manufactured by Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) starting in 1900. ... This article is about the comic strip. ... The Ant Bully is a computer-animated film produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzmans Playtone, John A. Davis and Keith Alcorns DNA Productions and directed by John A. Davis. ... Orenthal James Simpson (born July 9, 1947), commonly known as O. J. Simpson and also just by his initials O.J. and his nickname The Juice, is a retired American football player who achieved stardom at the collegiate and professional levels. ... Location of Brentwood in California Brentwood is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. ...

Cast

Paul Giamatti - Miles Raymond
Thomas Haden Church - Jackson 'Jack' Lapote
Virginia Madsen - Maya Randall
Sandra Oh - Stephanie Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti (born June 6, 1967) is an Academy Award-nominated American actor. ... Thomas Haden Church (born June 17, 1960[1]) is an Academy Award-nominated American film and television actor. ... Virginia Madsen (born September 11, 1961) is an American actress. ... Sandra Oh (born July 20, 1971) is a Golden Globe Award-winning and Emmy Award-nominated Canadian actress. ...


Soundtrack

Main article: Sideways (soundtrack)

Sideways is the original soundtrack album of the film of the same title starring Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church. ...

DVD

Image File history File links Sideways_DVD_cover. ... April 5 is the 95th day of the year (96th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  • Official site
  • Sideways at the Internet Movie Database
  • Roger Ebert's Review of Sideways
  • May 29, 2003 draft script
  • The Danish Soul of That Town in 'Sideways'
Preceded by
Lost in Translation
Golden Globe: Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
2005
Succeeded by
Walk the Line

  Results from FactBites:
 
Sideways (kottke.org) (430 words)
Still, the reaction to "Sideways" is worth noting, less because it isn't quite as good as everyone seems to be saying it is than because the near-unanimous praise of it reveals something about the psychology of critics, as distinct from our taste.
Miles, the movie's hero, has been variously described as a drunk, a wine snob, a sad sack and a loser, but it has seldom been mentioned that he is also, by temperament if not by profession, a critic.
Sideways is one of 306 movies reviewed on kottke.org.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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