A curmudgeonly instructor at a New England prep school is forced to remain on campus during Christmas break to babysit the handful of students with nowhere to go. Eventually, he forms an unlikely bond with one of them — a damaged, brainy troublemaker — and with the school’s head cook, who has just lost a son in Vietnam.
ActorsStarring: Paul Giamatti, Dominic Sessa, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Carrie Preston, Brady Hepner, Ian Dolley, Jim Kaplan, Michael Provost, Andrew Garman, Naheem Garcia, Stephen Thorne, Gillian Vigman, Tate Donovan, Bill Mootos, Dustin Tucker, Darby Lee-Stack, Juanita Pearl, Alexander Cook, Liz Bishop, Cole Tristan Murphy, Will Sussbauer, Carter Shimp, Michael Malvesti, Dakota Lustick, Melissa McMeekin, Jonathan von Mering, Rena Maliszewski, Osmani Rodriguez, Oscar Wahlberg, Dan Aid, Mike Kaz, Kelly AuCoin, Colleen Clinton, Fred Robbins, David J. Curtis, Pamela Jayne Morgan, Davis Robinson, Joe Howell, Peter Krasinski, Greg Chopoorian, Ian Lyons, Kevin Fennessy
The Holdovers: A heartwarming tale of unlikely connection over the holidays
The Holdovers is a 2023 American comedy-drama film directed by Alexander Payne and written by David Hemingson. The film stars Paul Giamatti, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and Dominic Sessa. It premiered at the 50th Telluride Film Festival on August 31, 2023, and is scheduled for a limited theatrical release in the United States on October 27, 2023, followed by a wide release on November 10, 2023, by Focus Features.
Set in the early 1970s, the film follows Paul Hunham (Giamatti), a curmudgeonly history teacher at Barton Academy, who is forced to remain on campus during Christmas break to supervise a handful of students who are unable to return home. Among these students is Angus Coates (Sessa), a rebellious and troubled teenager who is grieving the loss of his father.
Paul and Angus initially clash, but they eventually form an unlikely bond as they spend the holidays together. Paul also finds himself drawn to Mary Harris (Randolph), the school’s head cook, who is struggling to cope with the loss of her son in the Vietnam War.
The Holdovers is a heartwarming and humorous film about unlikely friendships, finding hope in the midst of grief, and the importance of family. It is a reminder that even the most unlikely people can find connection and meaning in their lives.
Director Alexander Payne is known for his sharp wit and social commentary, and The Holdovers is no exception. The film is full of Payne’s signature dry humor, but it also explores some serious themes, such as grief, loss, and redemption.
The performances in The Holdovers are all excellent. Giamatti gives a nuanced and moving performance as Paul, a man who is struggling to find his place in the world. Sessa is also excellent as Angus, a complex and troubled teenager. And Randolph is heartbreaking as Mary, a woman who is trying to heal from a devastating loss.
The Holdovers is a beautiful and heartwarming film that is sure to stay with you long after the credits have rolled. It is a reminder that even the most unlikely people can find connection and meaning in their lives.