Sideways

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This article is about the film. For other uses, see Sideways (disambiguation).
Sideways
Sideways poster.JPG
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Alexander Payne
Produced by Michael London
Screenplay by Alexander Payne
Jim Taylor
Based on Sideways 
by Rex Pickett
Starring Paul Giamatti
Thomas Haden Church
Virginia Madsen
Sandra Oh
Music by Rolfe Kent
Cinematography Phedon Papamichael
Edited by Kevin Tent
Production
company
Michael London Productions
Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures
Release dates
  • September 13, 2004 (2004-09-13) (Toronto)
  • October 22, 2004 (2004-10-22) (US)
Running time
127 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $16 million
Box office $109.7 million

Sideways is a 2004 American comedy-drama film written by Jim Taylor and Alexander Payne and directed by Payne. A film adaptation from Rex Pickett's novel of the same name, Sideways follows two men in their forties, portrayed by Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church, who take a week-long road trip to Santa Barbara County Wine Country.

Payne and Taylor won multiple awards for their screenplay. Giamatti and Church, as well as actresses Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh, playing local women who become romantically involved with the men, all received accolades for their performances.

Sideways won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and was nominated for four other awards including Best Picture.

Plot[edit]

Miles Raymond is an aspiring – but unsuccessful – writer, a wine aficionado and a divorced, depressed, borderline alcoholic middle-aged English teacher living in San Diego, who takes his soon-to-be-married actor friend and college roommate Jack Cole, on a road trip through Santa Ynez Valley wine country. Though still recognized on occasion, Jack's acting career appears to have peaked years ago, when he co-starred in a popular TV soap but now does commercial voice-overs and plans to enter his future father-in-law's successful real estate business after he's married. Miles wants to spend the week relaxing, golfing, enjoying good food and wine; however, much to Miles' consternation, Jack is on the prowl and wants one last sexual fling before settling into domestic life.

In the wine country, the pair visit Miles' favorite restaurant, The Hitching Post II and meet Maya, an attractive waitress with whom Miles is casually acquainted. Jack senses that Maya is interested in Miles, who downplays his friend's intuition, and tells Jack that Maya is married. He tells Maya that Miles' manuscript has been accepted for publication, even though it is only being considered. Later, at a tasting in a local winery, they meet a pourer named Stephanie, who is also acquainted with Maya. Jack is immediately attracted to Stephanie and arranges a double date, to include Miles and Maya, and tells Miles that he learned Maya is no longer married ("sans rock", as he describes it). During the date, Miles gets drunk and telephones Vicki, his ex-wife, after learning from Jack earlier that day that she has remarried. They return to Stephanie's home where Jack and Stephanie immediately adjourn to her bedroom, while Miles and Maya connect through their mutual interest in wine. Miles gives Maya a copy of his manuscript. As the week progresses, Jack's affair with Stephanie continues, to the point where he believes he's falling in love with her, he bonds with her daughter and makes the suggestion to Miles, that they move there for him to be closer to Stephanie. After spending the day together, Miles and Maya return to her apartment and have sex. The next day, Miles lets it slip that Jack is to be married. Disgusted with the dishonesty, Maya dumps Miles and tells Stephanie who, furious and devastated to learn she's been used, breaks Jack's nose using her motorcycle helmet.

On finding out his manuscript has been rejected again, Miles causes a scene during a wine tasting and ends up trying to drink from the spit bucket. That night, with Stephanie gone, Jack hooks up with another waitress named Cammi, who recognized him from his acting career. Hours later, Jack shows up back at the motel room he shares with Miles – naked and confessing that Cammi's husband came home early while she and Jack were having sex. Jack explains he was forced to flee without his clothes and wallet (which contains a pair of irreplaceable wedding rings). Jack convinces Miles to drive him back to Cammi's house and sneak inside, where he discovers Cammi and her husband having sex. Miles spies Jack's wallet, grabs it and runs from the house, barely escaping Cammi's irate husband, pursuing him in the nude. To explain the broken nose and cover up the adultery to his fiancée, Jack runs Miles' convertible into a tree, giving the appearance they had been in an accident. The pair return to the home of Jack's fiancée, where he is welcomed with open arms, and Miles drives away in his battered car.

Following the wedding ceremony, Miles runs into his ex-wife Vicki and meets her new husband. After learning that she is also pregnant, Miles faces the fact that Vicki will never return to him. Alone, he drinks his prized wine, a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc, from a disposable coffee cup at a fast-food restaurant and falls into an even deeper depression. After some time passes, Miles has returned to the routine of teaching school; coming home one afternoon, he receives a voice-mail from Maya, who says she enjoyed his manuscript and invites him to visit. Ultimately, Miles is seen driving back to Santa Ynez, knocking on Maya's door.

Cast[edit]

Impact on wine industry[edit]

Throughout the film, Miles speaks fondly of the red wine varietal Pinot noir, while denigrating Merlot.[1][2] Following the film's U.S. release in October 2004, Merlot sales dropped 2% while Pinot noir sales increased 16% in the Western United States. A similar trend occurred in British wine outlets.[2][3] Other reports also claimed anecdotally that sales of Merlot dropped after the film's release.[4][4][5][6][7] A 2009 study by Sonoma State University found that Sideways slowed the growth in Merlot sales volume and caused its price to fall, but the film's main effect on the wine industry was a rise in the sales volume and price of Pinot noir, and in overall wine consumption.[8]

Soundtrack[edit]

Sideways
Soundtrack album by Rolfe Kent
Released 12 October 2004
Recorded 2004
Genre Soundtrack
Length 37:24
Label New Line Records
Producer Rolfe Kent
Rolfe Kent chronology
Mean Girls
(2001)
Sideways
(2004)
The Last Shot
(2004)

The original soundtrack album features 15 jazz instrumentals composed and produced by Rolfe Kent and was orchestrated and arranged for the band by Tony Blondal. The album was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for "Best Original Score", and the music so popular there was demand for a national tour. Eventually a few cities were chosen to perform in as the composer was too busy to commit to more.

  1. "Asphalt Groovin'" – 4:00
  2. "Constantine Snaps His Fingers" – 3:03
  3. "Drive!" – 3:56
  4. "Picnic" – 2:15
  5. "Lonely Day" – 1:40
  6. "Wine Safari" – 2:13
  7. "Miles' Theme" – 2:59
  8. "Los Olivos" – 2:43
  9. "Chasing the Golfers" – 3:03
  10. "Walk to Hitching Post" – 2:32
  11. "Abandoning the Wedding" – 3:25
  12. "Slipping Away As Mum Sleeps" – 1:00
  13. "Bowling Tango" – 0:49
  14. "I'm Not Drinking Any #@%!$ Merlot!" – 1:13
  15. "Miles And Maya" – 2:26

Reception[edit]

The Hitching Post II Restaurant in Buellton where Miles and Jack first encounter Maya.

Time Out described the film as "intelligent, funny and moving",[9] and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film four stars, saying: "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."[10] The review aggregator Metacritic gives Sideways a Metascore of 94%, signifying "universal acclaim".[11] The movie also holds a 96% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, with 215 positive reviews out of 223.[12]

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 stars. Church and Madsen were each nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award, Golden Globe Award, and Academy Award for their performances, winning the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award and Independent Spirit Award for their respective categories. Giamatti has since been headlined as "The World's Best Character Actor" by Time magazine.[13] Sandra Oh—who has since broken up with the film's director, Alexander Payne—went on to star in the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy, for which she won two Screen Actors Guild Awards and one Golden Globe Award.

Sideways was ranked 494th on Empire‍ '​s 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time.[14]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards
Award Category Name Outcome
American Film Institute Awards AFI Movie of the Year Won
77th Academy Awards Best Picture of the Year Michael London Nominated
Best Director Alexander Payne
Best Supporting Actor Thomas Haden Church
Best Supporting Actress Virginia Madsen
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor Won
American Cinema Editors Best Edited Feature Film – Comedy or Musical Kevin Tent Nominated
Argentine Film Critics Association Best Foreign Film, Not in Spanish Language Alexander Payne Won
Belgian Syndicate of Cinema Critics Grand Prix Nominated
58th British Academy Film Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor Won
Bodil Awards Best American Film Alexander Payne
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards 2004 Best Film
Best Director Alexander Payne 2nd place
Best Actor Paul Giamatti
Best Supporting Actor Thomas Haden Church Won
Best Cast Thomas Haden Church, Paul Giamatti, Virginia Madsen, and Sandra Oh
Best Screenplay Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Film
Best Director Alexander Payne Nominated
Best Actor Paul Giamatti
Best Supporting Actor Thomas Haden Church Won
Best Supporting Actress Virginia Madsen
Best Cast Thomas Haden Church, Paul Giamatti, Virginia Madsen, and Sandra Oh
Best Screenplay Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
Best Composer Rolfe Kent Nominated
Casting Society of America Best Feature Film Casting – Comedy John Jackson and Ellen Parks Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Best Film Won
Best Actor Paul Giamatti
Best Supporting Actor Thomas Haden Church
Best Supporting Actress Virginia Madsen
Best Screenplay Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
Czech Lion Best Foreign Language Film Alexander Payne Nominated
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Best Film 2nd place
Top 10 Films Won
Best Actor Paul Giamatti
Best Supporting Actor Thomas Haden Church
Best Supporting Actress Virginia Madsen
Directors Guild of America Awards Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures Alexander Payne Nominated
Florida Film Critics Circle Awards Best Film Won
Best Director Alexander Payne
Best Supporting Actor Thomas Haden Church
Best Screenplay Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Best Director – Motion Picture Alexander Payne Nominated
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Paul Giamatti
Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Thomas Haden Church
Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Virginia Madsen
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor Won
Best Original Score – Motion Picture Rolfe Kent Nominated
Gotham Awards Best Film Alexander Payne Won
Independent Spirit Awards Best Film Michael London
Best Director Alexander Payne
Best Male Lead Paul Giamatti
Best Supporting Male Thomas Haden Church
Best Supporting Female Virginia Madsen
Best Screenplay Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards Best Supporting Actor Thomas Haden Church
Best Adapted Screenplay Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
London Film Critics Circle Awards Film of the Year
Director of the Year Alexander Payne Nominated
Actor of the Year Paul Giamatti
Screenwriter of the Year Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Film Won
Best Director Alexander Payne
Best Actor Paul Giamatti 2nd place
Best Supporting Actor Thomas Haden Church Won
Best Supporting Actress Virginia Madsen
Best Screenplay Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
National Board of Review Top Ten Films
Best Supporting Actor Thomas Haden Church
Best Adapted Screenplay Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Film 2nd place
Best Director Alexander Payne
Best Actor Paul Giamatti
Best Supporting Actor Thomas Haden Church Won
Best Supporting Actress Virginia Madsen
Best Screenplay Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
New York Film Critics Circle Best Film
Best Actor Paul Giamatti
Best Supporting Actress Virginia Madsen
Best Screenplay Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
Online Film Critics Society Best Picture Nominated
Best Director Alexander Payne
Best Actor Paul Giamatti Won
Best Supporting Actor Thomas Haden Church
Best Supporting Actress Virginia Madsen Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor Won
Producers Guild of America Awards Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture Michael London Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor Won
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Best Film Won
Best Director Alexander Payne
Best Actor Paul Giamatti
Best Supporting Actor Thomas Haden Church
Best Supporting Actress Virginia Madsen
Satellite Awards Best Film – Musical or Comedy Won
Best Director – Motion Picture Alexander Payne Nominated
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Paul Giamatti
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Thomas Haden Church Won
Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Virginia Madsen Nominated
Best Cast – Motion Picture Thomas Haden Church, Paul Giamatti, Virginia Madsen, and Sandra Oh Won
Best Adapted Screenplay Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Thomas Haden Church, Paul Giamatt, Virginia Madsen, and Sandra Oh Won
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Paul Giamatti Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Thomas Haden Church
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Virginia Madsen
Toronto Film Critics Association Awards Best Film Won
Best Actor Paul Giamatti
Best Supporting Actress Virginia Madsen
USC Scripter Award Best Screenplay Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor Nominated
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Best Film Won
Best Director Alexander Payne Nominated
Best Actor Paul Giamatti
Best Supporting Actor Thomas Haden Church
Best Supporting Actress Virginia Madsen Won
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Thomas Haden Church Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Virginia Madsen
Best Adapted Screenplay Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor Won
Writers Guild of America Best Adapted Screenplay Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor

Remake[edit]

Fox International Productions and Fuji TV released a Japanese-language remake of the film in October 2009,[15] often referred to in English as Saidoweizu (the anglicization of its Japanese title). The film is directed by Cellin Gluck and stars Katsuhisa Namase, Fumiyo Kohinata, Kyōka Suzuki, and Rinko Kikuchi, and has a soundtrack composed and performed by Hawaiian-born ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro.

The remake shifts the setting of the film to Napa Valley. Although listed as an executive producer, Payne was not involved with the remake, although he gave it his blessing.[16] Giamatti declined an invitation to appear in an unspecified cameo appearance in the film.[17]

Possible sequel[edit]

Pickett wrote a sequel to his novel, Vertical, in 2011, following Miles and Jack on a road trip to Oregon with Miles's mother. However, Payne has declined to consider a sequel to the film. Fox Searchlight owns the rights to the characters, but Payne's lack of interest makes the film a non-starter for Fox.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reynolds, Julia (2006-08-13). "Going Ape For Grape: Annual event celebrates all things wine". Monterey County Herald. 
  2. ^ a b Harlow, John (2006-03-06). "Oscar winner knocks sales of merlot wine sideways". The Sunday Times. 
  3. ^ Simon, Joanna (2006-06-04). "Sauce". Food & Drink (The Sunday Times). p. 47. 
  4. ^ a b Valdespino, Anne (2007-07-25). "Don't forgo Merlot: The wine's popularity has declined, but it can still be a foundation for a tantalizing tasting party". The Orange County Register. 
  5. ^ Asimov, Eric (2006-12-13). "Panned on Screen, Merlot Shrugs And Moves On". Dining & Wine (New York Times). pp. F10. Retrieved 2007-10-30. 
  6. ^ Murphy, Patsey (2005-08-13). "California dream". Irish Times. 
  7. ^ Stimmell, Gordon (2007-03-17). "More to merlot, you know". Arts (Toronto Star). pp. H07. 
  8. ^ Cuellar, Steven S. (January 2009). "The 'Sideways' Effect A test for changes in the demand for Merlot and Pinot Noir wines". Wines & Vines. 
  9. ^ "Time Out London". Timeout.com. Retrieved 2010-10-11. 
  10. ^ Chicago Sun Times by Roger Ebert.
  11. ^ "Sideways" at metacritic.com.
  12. ^ "Sideways Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-01-04. 
  13. ^ "The World's Best Character Actor". Time. 2005-05-31. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  14. ^ "Empire Features". Empireonline.com. Retrieved 2010-10-11. 
  15. ^ "'Sideways' gets Japanese remake". Variety.com. 2008-11-06. Retrieved 2010-10-11. 
  16. ^ ‘Sideways’ Returns, Uncorked for Japan
  17. ^ Martin, Peter (2009-03-30). "Paul Giamatti Kinda Trashes Japanese Remake of 'Sideways'". Cinematical.com. Retrieved 2010-10-11. 
  18. ^ Mercer, Chris. "Sideways 2 film unlikely, says author". Decanter.com. http://www.decanter.com/news/wine-news/530155/sideways-2-film-could-be-in-doubt-says-author. Retrieved June 1, 2014. 

External links[edit]