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Discovering Life with Pinot
Aug 18, 2005 01:25 PM 4085 Views
(Updated Aug 19, 2005 04:35 PM)





When a movie receives extreme reviews, it becomes reason enough for me to watch. Promising to view it objectively, I eventually picked up Sideways. Turns out, I just loved it.

Miles and Jack couldn't have been more different. Miles is an aspiring writer and oenophile, who is mostly depressed about his life; and Jack is the quintessential playboy, who wants to have one last fling before he gets married. Deciding to give Jack a week's fun, Miles drives him through California's wine country, where they taste wine, play golf, and meet women. As decided Jack has his promised fling (that meets with a disastrous end), and Miles ends up falling for Maya who shares his appreciation for wines.

Though extremely different, both Miles and Jack are similar in their uncertainties about themselves and their lives. Sideways chronicles their journey on the path towards this self-discovery. In addition, it is funny, romantic, sensitive, and real!

The plot is really that simple, but what makes the movie special, are its characters. Paul Giamatti is brilliant in his portrayal of Miles (I'd almost written him off after barely managing to survive American Splendour!). His character is easy to empathize with, even though he is temperamental and difficult on most occasions. Thomas Haden Church (You'll remember him from George of the Jungle) plays Jack, who is immensely likeable despite his glaring flaws. Who else would succeed at charming a married waitress into bed, despite a broken nose? But the surprise package was Virginia Madsen, whose performance in this movie was powerful, though understated.

A definite must-see by director Alexander Payne; you'll either love it as I did, or atleast come out with a craving for Pinot!

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