Thursday, January 8, 2009

Operation Screenshot (Films of the 2000s): Alexander Payne's Sideways (2004)



















11 comments:

Ed Howard said...

Nice images, though I don't feel particularly strongly about this film one way or the other. If you ask me, Payne will never top the tongue-in-cheek satire of Election, no matter how many sad-sack dramas he makes.

J.D. said...

I like that shot of the cakes.

I really dug this film and felt that it was a homage to buddy films of the 1970s like SCARECROW or CALIFORNIA SPLIT.

I've always been a fan of Paul Giamatti's and I think that this is my fave performance of his to date (altho, AMERICAN SPLENDOR is a close, close second). I always felt that he was robbed during awards season.

The interplay between him and Thomas Haden Church was spot-on. I've been a fan of his since NED & STACEY so it was great to see him get a meaty role like this one. Have you listened to the audio commentary they did for SIDEWAYS? it is almost like a sequel of sorts as they banter and joke and basically riff all over the place. Definitely worth a listen.

Keith said...

Hey Jeremy. I liked the images you posted. This was a really good film. I thought the cast was great in it. I haven't seen it since it first hit DVD. I might have to catch it again soon. Hope everything is going well with getting settled in. Take care. Cheers! Keith

Samuel Wilson said...

It was definitely one of the best films of 2004. While it wasn't the sort of story that automatically attracts me, and I admit I waited for the DVD, Payne had earned my attention with Citizen Ruth and especially Election, which is still my favorite among his films. But once I saw Sideways, I was a proselytizer for it -- I even bought it as a friend's birthday present. Good choice, sir.

Mr. Peel said...

Great, now I want to go watch the whole film again now. With some Pinot. Terrific shots. And where is Alexander Payne, anyway? Seriously, we need him.

"...if pressed I'd have to say I prefer the dark."

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Ed,
While I obviously dig Sideways more than you, I agree that Election is his best film. I've been meaning to post on it for awhile...a ferocious classic in my eyes with an absoultely brilliant Witherspoon giving one of the most spot on funny and frightening performances of the nineties.

Thanks JD,
I get that feeling as well...it has that great subtle seventies feeling. Agreed on Paul as well. I would have been thrilled to see him, Church and Madsen win that year although I remember it was a particularly great year for actors all the way around.

Thanks Keith,
I find it improves with each viewing so give it another look when you can....

Thanks Samuel,
I appreciate your continuing comments here. Looks like there are a lot of Election fans here, which is in no way a bad thing.

Thanks Peel,
Always love hearing from you here. I was really happy with the way the shots came out. I realized about halfway through I was picking out shots that had something very specific in common (the film's potent look at relationships). That's not something that happens often with this series for me and it reminded me of just how well thought out, composed and rendered the film is. I think it's a really special one...I still get chills when I think about Madsen's monologue in it, which I think is one of the most perfectly written and performed of the decade.

Allison said...

Seriously, I just made a list of my 20 Favorite Actors. And Paul Giamatti was on the list. I always thought he was great, but was happy when his career took off in Sideways and he became a household name. I still can't get over how great this was.

Jerry Horne said...

Jeremy, as usual you are right on the money. This is a truly fantastic film that actually seems to be made for adults! I wish Hollywood would churn out more like this...

MovieMan0283 said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Certainly it's Payne's least acerbic, most humane, and warmest film (by his standards, of course - this isn't exactly the Hallmark Channel.)

Plus, I've visited the region shown in the film on one of my rare excursions to California, so the movie brought back nice memories.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Allison,
Isn't he just extraordinary? He brings so much to every film he is in.

Thanks Jerry,
Yea wouldn't it be a wonderful world if Hollywood could manage to deliver more like this? At least we can be grateful when one does come along.

Thanks MovieMan,
I have sadly only been to California once, but I really fell in love with the state and hope to return someday.

Neil Fulwood said...

Excellent choice of shots, Jeremy, and an even better choice of film! 'Sideways' is still my favourite film of this decade: everything about it - performances, interplay, script, direction and the beautiful, autumnal, mellow cinematography - is spot-on perfect.