February 13, 2005

SF Movie Report 2: Sideways

"In search of wine. In search of women. In search of themselves."

Director: Alexsander Payne
Casts: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Sandra Oh, Virginia Madsen, Marylouise Bruke
Release Date in Japan: March 5.

Story: Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment, embark on a week long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the altar.

Honestly, I rarely watch movies directed by unknown filmmaker for me. Even after I finished the film, I was still wondering why this movie made me interested and brought me in the theater… Of course, my dearest combination, California and wine, was one of the reasons, but also maybe I was expecting to see the difference form the other made-in-Hollywood movies.

Story of this movie is just simple. Normally such an easy plot movie tends to end in failure because of the low budget, not so much events and small scale distribution. However, the director, Alexander Payne, showed us his great sense of balance between sophistication of wine and humor of southern California in one movie; he is just like a wine producer. Wine, the theme of this movie, could be too stylish for wide range of audience to understand the plot, and also the essence of comedy could be so cheesy that it sometimes makes us feel annoying. But, Payne successfully combined those two aspects and put them into a bottle of wine. In some part of movie, he added the serious conversation about the life of wine, on the other hand, sometimes two main characters’ behavior was just stupid enough to make us laugh.

Especially what I liked about this movie is that the main character, Miles, who is addicted to wine, loves Pinot Noir the best, but he hates Merlot… In the movie, he explained about why Pinot Noir is best for him, Pinot is more delicate, takes time to be ripe, and sensitive to the place to grow up, unlike Merlot or Cabernet with stronger body. All those detailed setting creates peoples’personality, storyline, and atmosphere of the movie.

Even now, I cannot really conclude that what was the motivation for me to watch this movie, I don’t know. But the flavor of this movie certainly will last forever with my memory of staying here, even after I leave California. Only for this movie, I strongly recommend; please wait until the DVD is released, and grab a bottle of Pinot Noir, and please open it before you press the play button of your player, because nothing can be a better appetizer for wine than this movie.

ストーリー: 日々の生活に焦燥感を感じている二人の中年の男達は、1週間のカリフォルニア・ワイナリー巡りの旅に出る。そのうちの一人は結婚という船出が間近に迫っているにもかかわらずに。






  1. What's up Chu? I like your blog a lot. Especially, your picture looks so cool. I trid to immitate the way you edited your pic, but mine looks so different. Please teach me how you made it. Bye!

  2. Hi, Satoly:

    My image is really easy. I just used one filter. You can find Cut-out filter in Artistic category in PS. Then important point is I added my important icon, glasses, by Illustrator.

    By the way, if your interview brings you good result as well as free airplane ticket, please let me know, I'll at least give you a bottle of beer!!