2004 Top 10 - #8December 23, 2004
#8: Sideways : Sideways represents the most mature film to-date from director Alexander Payne, whose impressive resume already includes Election and About Schmidt. By turns poignant and hilarious, Sideways follows the misadventures of two mismatched buddies as they embark on a Bachelor's Party trip through California's wine country. It's a tough thing to effectively mix drama and comedy, yet Payne makes it seem effortless. He is also blessed with an amazing cast: Paul Giamatti (in a performance that should earn him an Oscar nomination), Thomas Hayden Church, Virginia Madsen, and Payne's wife, Sandra Oh. Sideways was one of the best films I saw at 2004's Toronto International Film Festival, and I was no less impressed and entertained when I subsequently saw it twice around the time of its opening. It's currently playing in theaters in many markets, so, if you haven't seen it, rush out and give yourself a treat.
Closer Later/Mixed Messages
One unfortunate aspect of living so far from screening locations is that I occasionally have to miss a screening for one reason or another (a 2-hour movie eats up about 5 hours of my time). Admittedly, I don't have an overwhelming desire to see ...
Once, not that many years ago (or so it seems), taking the family to a movie was easily the most cost-effective way of spending an evening out together. That remains true today, even with sky-high concession prices and 3-D surcharges - it's cheaper...
Odds & Ends
"Special" Sunday entry this week because this one covers a lot of miscellaneous topics, none of which deserves its own column...The Golden GlobesFor some reason, there's an expectation that I should have an opinion about the impact of the WGA strike ...