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Saturday 29th January 2005

I saw "Sideways" tonight. It's my film of the year so far. It's much better than "Closer" (which I liked more than I wanted to, but which still had me wincing with embarrassment, both at the dialogue and Jude Law's acting) and "The Aviator" (which was pretty good, but still disappointingly sprawling). Whilst the dialogue in "Closer" (and remember I really wanted this film not to be good, so you can't take my word for it) is phoney and - what's the word? - you know, I think only "cornish" will suffice (and you may have to track down an old Fist of Fun video or annual to understand what that means), the dialogue of "Sideways" is naturalistic and true. The characters are flawed and at times selfish, but you still like them (in Closer - remember I didn't want to like it - I didn't like any of the characters and hoped that the final scene would involve them all getting on a bus that was then driven at speed over a cliff - with maybe only Clive Owen surviving, but with severe facial lacerations) and of course identify with them, because that's what we're all actually like. Ultimately it's about friendship and the strange ties of loyalty that that can bring, in the face of self-interest and wrong behaviour. Would you let your best friend crash your car so he had a a good excuse for his bride-to-be for the broken nose that his lover had given him when she found out he was getting married? Even if that essentially all that tied you to this person was the fact that you shared a dorm when you were at college? Hell yeah, you most probably would. Isn't that strange?
You have to go and see this film (Sideways, not Closer, just in case you were confused) and I hope it gets loads of awards, because it deserves them.
So obviously it won't get any then.

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