Director: Alexander Payne Cast: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh, Marylouise Burke, Jessica Hecht, Missy Doty, M.C. Gainey, Alysia Reiner
Academy Awards: Best Adapted Screenplay (Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor)
Also Nominated For: Best Picture; Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Thomas Haden Church); Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Virginia Madsen); Best Director
I First Saw In: 2015
Synopsis: Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment, embark on a week long road trip through California’s wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle.
Did You Know? During his audition, Thomas Haden Church stripped naked because that was what the scene called for. Later, he learned that he was the only actor to do so.
And now a Word from the Guise:
As what is surely the most pretentious character ever written, Paul Giamatti plays Miles, a man who is both trying to be an author and trying to be a wine connoisseur, but he sucks at being both. Listening to him try to explain a wine like a professional sommelier is like listening to a hipster explain the musical significance of their ukulele while they push their non-prescription glasses onto their nose. Thomas Haden Church’s Oscar-nominated performance as Jack is just like most men in the respect that he thinks perfectly okay for him to be unfaithful to his fiancée but totally inexcusable when his fiancée cheats on him.
I absolutely love that everything falls apart for Miles, because he’s just awful. Paul Giamatti is one of my favourite actors, and he gives an excellent performance in this film, I just really, really, really hate the character.
Oscar Madness Ranking – ??? out of 23