Sideways (2004) Review
Two men Miles and Jack head on a road trip as a final hurrah before the latter is due to get married. This involves plenty of wine and reflection on their far from perfect lives.
Luckily I timed it very well to eventually catch this film last night, so another ticked off the list for the Best Picture Project. I have to admit that I enjoy a lot of Paul Giamatti’s performances and this one was no different. He was very convincing as Miles a man who is attempting to write a successful novel whilst also teaching at a middle school, he also appreciates wine (a lot) hence the week long trip around California’s wine country. Jack is a total opposite of his friend, a struggling actor who certainly has an eye for women and very outspoken. Obviously we already know this is going to cause them plenty of problems, but for some reason they are still friends after many years.
I thought it was pretty interesting to see what two men would talk about and do when they are alone for a week on a road trip in all honesty. As they actually go deeper than you would possible think, so if any men reading this review can let me know if that is actually true and real?
Miles is still trying to get over his divorce and I think the fact that his best friend is getting married really influences how he is acting. Which is made even worse when Jack decides his mission is to make sure Miles gets laid at some point during the week. Jack does not seem entirely sure about his up and coming marriage and very quickly hooks up with another woman and claims he has fallen in love with her. We all know that is not going to end very well at all.
The thing about this film is that it doesn’t really strike you as one that got nominated for Best Picture at times as it just seems like normal life and normal people. But then it does have some very random scenes (a naked man in the street scene). But maybe that very reason it ended up getting nominated because it felt real and showed the journey of the two men which didn’t really go the way you expected. I have to admit that I really though part of the ending was going to be so depressing but then it took the nice turn and left it open for you to decide on the outcome.
Thinking about it that way I guess it is one of those films that really does rely on strong acting performances and that is certainly what we get from Giamatti and Church as they really do build the characters up nicely as we learn about what has happened to them in the past as they regret a lot of things. Realising that they are almost at middle age and don’t have very much to show for it, although I guess that is something that we don’t really know how to measure. How do you know if you have achieved everything your supposed to by a certain time scale and how is that different for everyone else? It’s certainly thought-provoking regardless of gender.