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Sideways Wins One Oscar and Five Independent Spirit Awards

Director Alexander Payne and collaborator Jim Taylor take home Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay

Nick Fauchald
Posted: February 28, 2005

A boxing film beat up on the wine lover's movie at the Academy Awards last night, but the cast and crew of Sideways didn't go home empty-handed. After earning five nominations, Sideways picked up the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

During their acceptance speeches, director Alexander Payne and collaborator Jim Taylor humbly thanked their agents, the Sideways cast and crew and Fox Searchlight Pictures for "letting us make a film with complete creative freedom." Payne also thanked his wife, the "stunning and talented" Sandra Oh, who costarred in the film, and Rex Pickett, author of the novel from which the screenplay was adapted.

Sideways had much better luck on Saturday night when it dominated the IFP Independent Spirit Awards with five nods, including best picture, best director (Payne), best screenplay (Payne and Taylor), best male lead (Paul Giamatti), best supporting male (Thomas Haden Church) and best supporting female (Virginia Madsen).

Each of the film's stars delivered poignant acceptance speeches. After being told, "You were robbed," (for being denied an Oscar nomination) by presenter Samuel L. Jackson, Giamatti was noticeably touched by the award. Madsen brought her 10-year-old son, Jack, onstage to accept her award and told the audience that "he earned it as much as I did," for putting up with her days as a struggling actress. A misty-eyed Church thanked his director "for giving me another shot."

In all, the film has received a bevy of honors, including two Golden Globes, two Writers Guild Awards and numerous critics' circle awards.

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