AskDefine | Define sideways

Dictionary Definition

sideways adj : (of movement) at an angle [syn: crabwise] adv
1 with one side forward or to the front; "turned sideways to show the profile"; "crabs seeming to walk sidewise" [syn: sideway, sidewise]
2 from the side; obliquely; "a picture lit sideways"; "scenes viewed sidewise" [syn: sideway, sidewise]
3 toward one side; "the car slipped sideways into the ditch"; "leaning sideways"; "a figure moving sidewise in the shadows" [syn: sideway, sidewise]
4 to, toward or at one side; "darting eyes looking sidelong out of a wizened face" [syn: sidelong, obliquely]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. With a side to the front.
  2. Towards one side.


Extensive Definition

Sideways is an American comedy-drama film written by Jim Taylor and directed by Alexander Payne. Adapted from Rex Pickett's 2004 novel, Sideways follows two fortysomething men, portrayed by Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church, who take a week-long road trip to the wine country of Central California. Payne and Taylor won multiple awards for their screenplay; Giamatti and Church, as well as supporting actresses Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh, who played two local women who become romantically involved with the men, all received accolades for their performances in the film.


Miles Raymond (Giamatti) is a single divorcé, unpublished writer, eighth-grade English teacher, depression sufferer, and oenophile, who takes his soon-to-be-married actor friend and old roommate from his days in college at San Diego State University, Jack Lopate (Church), on a week-long road trip through Santa Ynez Valley wine country.
Miles wants to drink wine, eat great food, play golf, enjoy the scenery, and send Jack off in style. However, Jack is more interested in "sowing his wild oats" and having one last sexually libertine week. Soon after their arrival in wine country, they meet Maya (Virginia Madsen), a waitress at Miles' favorite restaurant, and Stephanie (Sandra Oh), a winery employee who happens to be friends with Maya.
Neither tells the women about Jack's impending nuptials the next weekend. Jack soon finds himself in a sexual and romantic imbroglio with Stephanie, which inevitably puts an abrupt end to Miles' plan for taking Jack out for a good time. Although more than a little reluctant, Miles is willing to entertain Jack's antics, convinced of the temporary nature of his newfound relationship with Stephanie, aware of Jack's childish nature and unhappily has to play the chaperone. Miles' decision to indulge Jack's philandering ways is also influenced by his decision, with Jack's strong encouragement, to begin to act on the crush he's developed on Maya. Soon, Jack's relationship with Stephanie accelerates, putting Miles in a precarious predicament as he continues to court Maya casually.


Time Out London said the film was "intelligent, funny and moving," and the Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert, giving the film four stars, said, "what happens during the seven days adds up to the best human comedy of the year -- comedy, because it is funny, and human, because it is surprisingly moving." The review aggregator Metacritic gives Sideways a Metascore of 94%, signifying "universal [critical] acclaim." Although, the user score, based on 428 user reviews, only gave the film a 6.2
A surprise hit, Sideways became popular in Hollywood, the US and internationally. Santa Ynez Valley, where much of the film is set, attracted increased tourism. The film was nominated for dozens of awards, winning many, and was dubbed "the best reviewed movie of 2004". With the exception of Giamatti, who had already starred in critically acclaimed films such as American Splendor, the film was a career breakthrough for the relatively unknown stars. Both Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen were nominated for Oscars. Paul Giamatti has since been headlined as "The World's Best Character Actor" by Time Magazine. Giamatti was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Oscar for his performance in 2005's Cinderella Man. Sandra Oh, who has since broken up with the film's director, Alexander Payne, has gone on to star in Grey's Anatomy for which she won a Golden Globe and the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) Award. Church went on to play a prominent role in the blockbuster Spider-Man 3.

Impact on wine industry

Throughout the film, Miles speaks fondly of the red wine varietal Pinot Noir. Sales of Merlot dropped after the film's release presumably due to Miles' disparaging remarks about the varietal in the film.

Awards and nominations

Academy Awards:
BAFTA Awards:
  • Adapted Screenplay (Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor)
Golden Globe Awards:
  • Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
  • Best Screenplay
  • Nomination - Best Musical Score
Gotham Awards:
  • Best Picture
National Board of Review of Motion Pictures:
  • Top Ten Film of 2004
  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Best Adapted Screenplay
IFP Independent Spirit Awards:
  • Best Male Lead
  • Best Supporting Male
  • Best Supporting Female
  • Best Screenplay
  • Best Director
  • Best Feature (won in all categories it was nominated for).


Golden Globe Awards:


The original soundtrack album of the film of the same title starring Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church. All of the 15 jazz instrumentals are composed and produced by Rolfe Kent.
The album was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for "Best Original Score".

External links


sideways in Bosnian: Stranputica
sideways in German: Sideways
sideways in Spanish: Entre copas
sideways in French: Sideways
sideways in Iloko: Impabakrang
sideways in Indonesian: Sideways
sideways in Italian: Sideways - In viaggio con Jack
sideways in Dutch: Sideways
sideways in Japanese: サイドウェイ
sideways in Norwegian: Sideways
sideways in Polish: Bezdroża
sideways in Portuguese: Sideways
sideways in Russian: На обочине (фильм)
sideways in Slovak: Bokovka
sideways in Finnish: Sideways
sideways in Swedish: Sideways

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1