So I've seen Sideways twice now, and it's just amazing.* What stands out to me in particular is the editing. The cuts are SO intelligent--we, as viewers, are told the story with such craft--that it's as if it's an organic experience; like the grapes themselves.
The soundtrack is brilliant. The film has a lighthearted instrumental soundtrack, with just the right amount of dark, subtle sections in minor to accommodate the main character--while still preserving the overall adventurous tone of the film. Of course, one could argue that the film is really about dealing with the dark side of oneself, but on the surface, the music fits quite well with the tone of the film.
Why Paul Giamatti didn't win an Oscar is beyond me; perhaps his performance was too nuanced to catch serious consideration from the Academy. On a personal note, I couldn't help but draw constant parallels between his character and myself, which is rather depressing. He's an 8th grade English teacher, likes wine, is a writer, can't get over his past relationship, has a beard, is balding, sabotages his relationships, likes close friendships, ugh.
Virginia Madsen is HOT.
The director, Alexander Payne, has done another film that I adore: About Schmidt. His themes tend to revolve around characters who are supposedly past their prime, and their reactions to the situations life has put them in. Brilliant.
Overall, this film would probably be in my top ten, if I were inclined to rank movies--if only for the fact that I connected to this film so strongly on a personal level. I highly recommend this film to anyone who fits any of the following descriptions: likes wine, is stuck, can't move on, has little direction. Great movie.
*It should be noted that on each separate occasion I have viewed this film, I have consumed no less than an entire bottle of wine.