Miles (Paul Giamatti) is a depressed wine lover who is struggling to get past his divorce, even after two years. Jack (Thomas Hayden Church) is an actor who never really made it, and is about to get married. Miles takes Jack on a wine-tasting week away expecting lots of drinking and golf, but Jack is more keen on getting laid – and getting Miles laid. Then there are the ladies that they meet – but I don’t feel like mentioning them given that the only role they have is to be sex objects and to be treated poorly.
I don’t get this film. I don’t really understand why it was so highly lauded. Perhaps it is that we don’t see a lot of films of middle-aged men having breakdowns. Do we? I just found it boring, both the men had appalling attitudes toward woman and towards life in general. There were several scenes that seemed totally implausible, and really, just annoyed me.
Sideways won an Oscar for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay and was nominated for Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Thomas Hayden Church), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Virginia Madsen), and Best Achievement in Directing (Alexander Payne).
Olive(Emma Stone) is your average high school student – working toward college, keeping to herself, not noticed by most of the school. Until a rumour gets out that she has slept with a college guy, and suddenly she gets the reputation of being the school slut. Rather than challenging this, she uses this reputation to help others; her gay friend hides his true sexual leanings; an unpopular, ugly guy starts to garner female attention after people think he has hooked up with Olive. It’s not altruistic, though; Olive takes cash or vouchers for her favours. She starts to dress to the character, however eventually it becomes too much for her and she needs to find a way out.
It’s a good high school film. One of those films where the parents are way too cool and ace to be believed and that behaviour that almost certainly would not be tolerated in a school is ignored. (Or at least, at this school, that seems extremely middle class and conservative. Conservative enough that the concept that one student has had sex can stop the whole school in its tracks) I think it would probably be a good film for high school students when looking at bullying and reputation – along with Mean Girls.