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The 100 Best Movies Of The Complex Decade

32. Sideways (2004)

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh

Who would've thought that watching a couple of middle-aged schlubs embarking on a wine-tasting trip could be damn funny? Not to mention, poignant? It takes a refined master of the small-scale human dramas like Alexander Payne (Election, last year's The Descendants) to wring huge laughs and rich emotion from such an inconspicuous concept. And, furthermore, it requires a pair of underrated (at the time, at least) actors like Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church to make said schlubs immensely endearing.

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