Monday, January 03, 2005

I have no time at all to discuss it, but Alexander Payne's Sideways has got to be one of the best movies I've seen all year, and the two main performanches -- by Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church -- are note-perfect, as are the supporting ones by the still-hot Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh. More later, as I always say, but this story of two pals, Miles (Giamatti) and Jack(Church) taking a trip through California wine country en route to Jack's wedding is a real character comedy, as I guess all of Payne's work is. I've often compared him to Preston Sturges, and it's apt -- it's funny and wild like Sturges' great films, and it has his same kind of heart. But there is also something indefinably Payne's own; I'm just not sure what.

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