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"Sideways" -- a great review

alkapal Sep 2, 2009 04:45 AM

i thought this review of "sideways" was very insightful: http://archive.sensesofcinema.com/con...

natalie reitano is the reviewer, and i like her style.

one quote, e.g., gives you a little taste:
"Miles reveres the difficulty and rarity of achieving the perfect wine, which must be “coaxed until it reaches its full potential”. For Maya, however, wine is “a living thing” carrying not only its invisible history (the seasons, the oaken casks, the unrecorded lives of grape-pickers) as it “evolves”, but also “its inevitable decline”. Maya wants to embrace the whole messy spectrum of life; Miles prefers the perfect corpse."

this video clip from the movie highlights this "wine as metaphor" insight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZMPjG...


p.s. you might like these bloopers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIKdTf...
there are more there on youtube, too.

phantomdoc, thanks for spurring me on this sideways "journey" ;-). i'm still looking for the diner scene where miles is drinking his special wine from the bottle in a paper bag.

trivia i've learned: the director, alexander payne, picked out the wines for the winelists in the film. here's more info from a "food and wine" article: http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/s...
here's an interesting quote from the director in the article -- a quote that ties in to the "wine-talk as self-exploration/analysis and language of communication" idea that is seeming to emerge, the more i think about this film: "Payne was introduced to the wine region when he came across a manuscript for Sideways, then a soon-to-be-published novel by Rex Pickett, the director told me when I met him one afternoon in the Santa Rita Hills for a tour of some of the places in his movie. "What struck me was that the characters were complicated and intelligent. They tried to communicate by talking about wine, something I was passionate about," Payne said."

... and more about this theme: ""When Stephanie says, 'I'm drinking a Sauvignon Blanc. Fiddlehead Cellars. Aged twelve months in oak,' that's because Fiddlehead makes a Sauvignon Blanc aged twelve months in oak, which is unusual for a Sauvignon Blanc," Payne continues. "When Maya and Miles try to connect by discussing a 1988 Sassicaia, it's because I know how much that wine changed my life.""

oh, and isn't this something to think about: ""In the movie, when Miles and Maya are trying to express their feelings about each other, they drink an Andrew Murray wine, and Maya says, 'The alcohol overshadows the fruit,'" Payne reminded me. "After filming, I called Andrew Murray and asked if that was a fair thing to say. He said, 'Of course—that's an accurate description of our wines.'""

the alcohol overshadows the fruit -- another metaphor for miles' and maya's relationship at that point, perhaps.

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  1. Restaurant Dish RE: alkapal Sep 4, 2009 10:58 AM

    You know, doing a quick view of your post I thought, what's this guy/girl crazy? This movie's been out for a few years!

    But then I kept reading and realized that it doesn't matter that it's been out for years, it's still a great movie! And sometimes we need to be reminded of those greats. And your single-minded passion for this movie shines through in spades. Just like the characters single-minded passion for wine/relationships.

    Excellent post! (And thanks for reminding me - I think I'm gonna watch it again this weekend).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Restaurant Dish
      bulavinaka RE: Restaurant Dish Sep 4, 2009 09:31 PM

      Miles is the has many characteristics of the archetype Chowhound. :)

    2. porker RE: alkapal Jan 30, 2010 04:58 PM

      Picked this one up from the memorable wine quotes, alkapal.
      Actually, we just walked in after having a few drinks and want to eat something and have a bit of wine.
      So I'm hoping to go over the OP in length later, savoring.

      BTW, here's another Sideways quote that I love

      Miles Raymond: [while tasting wine] It tastes like the back of a fucking L.A. school bus. Now they probably didn't de-stem, hoping for some semblance of concentration, crushed it up with leaves and mice, and then wound up with this rancid tar and turpentine bullshit. Fuckin' Raid.
      Jack: Tastes pretty good to me.

      I can just picture Jack, no clue, with a dumbass voice, Uhhh, I dunno, Tastes pretty good to me....HAHA

      1 Reply
      1. re: porker
        Mild Bill RE: porker Jan 30, 2010 07:01 PM

        Great stuff guys!!

      2. alkapal RE: alkapal Jun 29, 2012 08:24 AM

        an interview with the author! http://www.nataliemaclean.com/blog/si...

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