“Sideways” and alcohol–Why Now?

Alder over at Vinography draws to our attention an very interesting article in the Sunday New York Times.

The heart of the article poses the proposition that the Best Picture nominated Sideways has a character that may be an alcoholic. From there various wine and recovery types address the question from various perspectives.

Alder suggests that the lack of discussion of this angle to the movie has to do with societal denial of alcohol’s place in our lives and culture. This may be. But I think the lack of discussion of this topic is more a result of editing and the proximity of the Academy Awards next Sunday.

Had the movie created a clamor on this subject it would have been picked up by the media much earlier. And I’ve not seen any clamor emerging from any circles, including the recovery community. Though I may have missed it.

I think it’s a matter of the Times needing to cover various aspects of the five Best Picture films and this is definitely an interesting angle. It’s akin to the Times writing an article on mental illness among top executives in response to The Aviator being one of the nominated films. Now, whether the article will create such a clamor as to instigate a broader discussion on alcohol’s place in the film, that might just be.

But, I don’t think "Sideways" on its own causes movie-goers to associate the character of Miles as an alcoholic. They see a lot else going on in that Pinot-soaked head.

What I find most interesting about the article are two things: the way the recovery community is forced by experience to view any film that has alcohol as a main prop and the experience of viewing from my own wine geek perspective a wine geek on film, in front of my eyes, drawn and delivered by third parties that had obviously observed my kind and others like me in preparation for writing the original book and in preparation for making the film.

Posted In: Culture and Wine


Leave a Reply