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Posted on Saturday, February 26th, 2005

Dave!The movie Sideways is racking up all kinds of critical acclaim, and sweeping the art-house awards circuit. Something this special I just had to make time to see.

And... I just don't get it.

It's not that it is a bad film, it's just that I am mystified at how so many people are falling head over heels in love with it. Aside from a few clever bits of writing, some nice character work from Paul Giamatti, and an excellent performance by the ever-brilliant Sandra Oh... well, there was just so much nothing in the film. Mind-numbing stretches of nothing.

Dave Sideways

It's as if the people working on the film got to certain spots where they didn't know what to do, and so they simply said "well, let's just drag things out and maybe people will think we're being artistic." But, for me, it just didn't work. And I'm not saying that every frame of a film has to be wall-to-wall action either. I mean, my favorite film of all time is Field of Dreams, which has plenty of quiet moments... but they mean something. Sideways, on the other hand, is a character piece with very little character and not much else. I've seen episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer that had more of an impact on me.

And that brings me to the Oscars tomorrow night... I saw nothing in Sideways which convinces me it is Best Picture material. Thomas Hayden Church had zero depth to his character, and was so paint-by-numbers predictable that I can't imagine him being in the same league as somebody like Morgan Freeman for Best Supporting Actor. Finally, Virginia Madsen's character had so little screen time and complete lack of emotional detail that I can't even fathom why she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in the first place. I guess being a "critical darling" gets you a lot of mileage.

And through it all I think back to Kill Bill 2 which had everything going for it, yet it gets snubbed from a nomination to make room for something like this?? Travesty!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "We accidentally replaced your heart with a baked potato. You have about three seconds to live."
Yesterday's Answer: That Darn Cat! (1965) with Dean Jones, Hayley Mills, and Roddy McDowall.

Categories: Movies 2005Click To It: Permalink


  1. Ben says:

    Ahh, so the oscars are for movies then? I never know.

  2. karla says:

    I saw Sideways on Thursday night, and it mainly just made me crave a big ol’ glass of wine. And made me jealous of all the good food they were eating that they could afford!
    What WAS interesting was listening to the Norwegian audience literally gasp in shock when in the movie they cracked open the bottle of bubbly in the car. That, here, is tantamount to a major crime. One because it’s against the law and as big a no-no as you can do, and two, they spilled most of it when opening it. Shocking American wastrels!
    As for Oscars, I thought the Aviator was much better, but I have not seen all the contenders, either.

  3. Dave2 says:

    Yes, Oscar=Movies, Emmy=Television.

    I’m pretty sure that drinking alcohol while driving is also a pretty major crime here in the USA… the crime of alcohol spillage is far greater, however.

  4. ChillyWilly says:

    I have to admit that I am a Oscar junkie. It’s the last gasp of addiction before I start focusing my banal efforts to other parts of my life.

    My two favorite films last year were The Aviator and Sideways. Both are completely different films, so I can’t place one above the other. But, for the pure nature and direction, Sideways was very enjoyable. I guess I saw the movie for more than just wine and sexual conquest.

    Thomas Haden Church and Paul Giamatti played so well off each other that it was a pure crime for Paul to get snubbed, yet his equally talented screen partner’s (minus Ms. Oh, who is wife to director Alexander Payne) got the nods.

    Sideways was just a fun film and became even more when the lives of Miles and Jack were displayed on the screen, showing there is a little of Jack and Miles in all of us.

  5. Ben says:

    Ah, Now I know where I have heard about Sideways; A blog (or was it a joke blog?) of a waiter I had read was complaining in a post about how everyone came in asking for Chardonnay because of that moive and it vexed him.

    And thanks for the clarafication! Now all I have to figure out is what are the golden globes, and what the meaning of life is.

  6. Chris says:

    I’d like to say I’m a film fan but I’ve never heard of “Sideways” so I’m not too fussed.

    Was that a dig at Buffy the Vampire Slayer though?

    Cause I won’t have that!


  7. Dave2 says:

    That wasn’t a dig… Buffy had some of the best writing ever to grace a television screen, and I maintain that there are episodes of Buffy that were better than “Sideways.” Boy I miss that show.

  8. Ben says:

    What – people like Buffy? I never got into it; I don’t like whatsherface.

  9. Dave2 says:

    Heresy. Sarah Michelle Gellar is brutally hot. Short, but hot. You need to go rent “Cruel Intentions” immediately.

  10. ChillyWilly says:

    Adding a couple more lines here…

    “Cruel Intentions” is a must watch for any SMG fan. And it’s a good film, regardless of hottie Sarah.

    And the wine from “Sideways” that gets the majority of attention these days is Pinot Noir, not Chardonnay (which is a wine I like)

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