Product Image: Sideways
My rating: 3 out of 5

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 don’t think it’s the best Alexander Payne movie I’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 Madsen’s acting. The last movie I had seen her in was Highlander II, and frankly that movie didn’t show off anyone’s talents. Virginia Madsen’s Maya is complicated, smart, principled, and kind, and she’s the main reason why I liked this movie.

You can’t go wrong giving up a couple of hours watching Sideways: there’s beautiful scenery, charismatic actors, interesting story, and witty dialog. Rarely do you find all four elements in one movie.

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