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Original title
Running time
123 min.
United States United States
Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor (Novel: Rex Pickett)
Rolfe Kent
Phedon Papamichael
Fox Searchlight
Comedy. Drama. Romance | Comedy-Drama
Synopsis / Plot
Writer-director Alexander Payne's fourth feature film (following CITIZEN RUTH, ELECTION and ABOUT SCHMIDT) starts with two old friends setting off on
a wine-tasting road trip . . . only to veer dizzily SIDEWAYS into a wry, comedic exploration of the crazy vicissitudes of love and friendship, the damnable persistence of loneliness and dreams and the enduring war between Pinot and Cabernet.

The misadventures begin when Miles (Paul Giamatti), an un-recovered divorcé and would-be novelist with a wine fixation, decides to gift his old college buddy and washed-up actor Jack (Thomas Haden Church) with a celebratory trip to the vineyards of the Central Coast the week before Jack's wedding. The two couldn't be an odder couple. Jack is an over-sexed charmer; Miles is a sad-sack worrier. Jack is looking for his "last taste of freedom;" Miles is just hoping to not get even more depressed. Jack is fine with cheap Merlot; Miles pines for the perfect Pinot. Indeed, the only thing they seem to share in common is the same heady mix of failed ambitions and fading youth. And yet, as they make their way up the coast, Miles and Jack soon find themselves drowning in wine and women (Sandra Oh and Virginia Madsen).
2004: Oscar: Best Adapted Screenplay. 5 Nominations
2004: 2 Golden Globes: Best Movie Comedy or Musical, Screenplay - Adapted. 7 Nominations
2004: BAFTA Awards: Best Adapted Screenplay
2004: National Board of Review: Best Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Haden Church)
2004: New York Film Critics Circle: Best Movie, Actor, Screenplay & Actress. 5 Nominations
2004: Los Angeles Film Critics Association: 5 Awards , icluding Best Picture & Director.
2004: Toronto: Best Movie, Actress (Virginia Madsen), Actor (Paul Giamatti)
2004: American Film Institute (AFI): Top 10 - Movies of the Year
2004: 5 Critics' Choice Awards, including Best Picture and Writer. 8 Nominations
2004: Chicago Film Critics Awards: 5 awards incl. Best Picture & Screenplay
2004: Independent Spirit Awards: 6 Awards including Best Film & Best Director
2004: Producers Guild Awards (PGA): Nominated for Best Film
2004: Directors Guild of America (DGA): Nominated for Best Director
2004: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Best Adapted Screenplay
2004: Screen Actors Guild (SAG): Best Performance by a Cast. 4 Noms.
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