When Alexander Payne’s 2004 film Sideways hit the theaters, everyone expected it to be popular but perhaps not nearly as popular as it became. Not only did it bring even more fame to the already establish director but to Paul Gimatti, the film’s leading role. Sideway received both an Oscar and a Golden Globe, and became a household name both in the United States and internationally.
Sideways was filmed for the most part in the Santa Ynez Valley in southern California just near Santa Barbara, a perfect setting for Miles and Jack, the 2 protagonists of the film, to begin their week-long journey of adventures just before Jack gets married.
Sideways has all the makings of great film including credible dialogue scenes, most notably those regarding wine and of course the meaning of life. It’s dialogues like these that have created cult-like following bringing even more tourism to this wine valley, and sales to wines mentioned throughout the film. Who could forget Miles’ description of Pinot Noir in one of the most passionate scenes from the movie.
Perhaps an even more memorable image is that of Miles and Jack reflecting on life and their future among vineyards, making this road trip movie one of life lessons and longing. The atmosphere that we find from the first to the last scene (no spoilers here) is created from the endless wine paths which the main characters both literally and metaphorically travel down, taking us with them along the way.
The magic of cinema… and the magic of a good bottle of wine.