After seeing Sideways, I was struck by two things: (1) I want to be an oenophile (or at the very least a wine snob) and (2) Paul Giamatti gets a lot of acting mileage out of his heavy-lidded gaze and facial twitches. At times, I felt like I was watching Harvey Pekar take a tour of the wine country.
I enjoyed Sideways; however, I donâ€™t think itâ€™s the best Alexander Payne movie Iâ€™ve seen (that honor would go to Election). As other reviewers have stated, this movie was blessed with a great script and talented actors. In particular, I was really impressed by Virginia Madsenâ€™s acting. The last movie I had seen her in was Highlander II, and frankly that movie didnâ€™t show off anyoneâ€™s talents. Virginia Madsenâ€™s Maya is complicated, smart, principled, and kind, and sheâ€™s the main reason why I liked this movie.
You canâ€™t go wrong giving up a couple of hours watching Sideways: thereâ€™s beautiful scenery, charismatic actors, interesting story, and witty dialog. Rarely do you find all four elements in one movie.