With all the buzz about this movie, I felt I had to see it before the Academy Awards. Still, I'd heard enough personal reviews that I wasn't expecting real greatness. Sure enough, Sideways didn't live up to the hype. The film follows two friends, Miles and Jack--played by Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church, respectively--through a week-long wine-tasting trip leading up to Jack's wedding. The characters were interesting and the principal actors all did a good job--though I don't think the role was that much of a departure from Giamatti's previous work--but I just didn't find any real profundity in the story. Moreover, all of the wine talk kind of turned me off, even while simultaneously being interesting to me. Now, people who know me know that I like wine. I even like talking about wine. But in Sideways it just made me feel like the filmmakers were pretentious. Still, the wine provides the background and sets the tone for the whole film; it wouldn't have been the same story without it.

Viewed: 1/7/2005 | Released: 10/11/2004 | Score: B

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