The Holdovers

Tagline : Discomfort and joy.

Runtime : 133 mins

Genre : Comedy Drama

Vote Rating : 7.7/10


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Plot : 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.

Cast Members

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Reviews

FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW @ https://fandomwire.com/the-holdovers-bfi-london-film-festival-review/ "The Holdovers left me in complete disbelief at how complete, thought-provoking, hilarious, and emotionally powerful it becomes with each extraordinarily captivating minute that passes by. A shockingly faultless screenplay from David Hemingson exponentially attacks the viewers' hearts through a truly profound yet bittersweet study of the vital need for human connection. Protagonists are brilliantly written as real people, and superbly portrayed by an award-worthy cast. Add an immaculate tonal balance and outstanding execution by Alexander Payne, and a new Christmas classic is born." Rating: A

Heartwarming films for the holidays are something we’re all supposed to love, right? Well, if you’re talking about the works of directors like Frank Capra, George Seaton, Michael Curtiz and Chris Columbus, you’d be correct. But, since it’s been so long since we’ve had releases of that quality, in recent years, viewers hungry for such movies have been glomming on to anything that even remotely approaches such titles, whether or not the accolades are deserved. And that, in my view, sums up my feelings on the much-celebrated new feature from director Alexander Payne. This tale of a curmudgeonly, condescending, middle-aged, fuss-budget prep school teacher (Paul Giamatti) assigned to babysit a group of rambunctious students who are unable to be with their families for the year-end holidays has a premise with considerable potential that, unfortunately, is squandered by a narrative that feels loosely stitched together and ultimately comes across as patently undercooked. Indeed, what could have been a fun-filled romp a la a Christmastime take on movies like “Dead Poets Society” (1989), regrettably, comes up decidedly short. Admittedly, the film has its share of modestly funny and warm, fuzzy moments, but many of the scenes don’t flow smoothly from one to the next, creating a storyline that feels forced without delivering the goods to make a release like this work. While it’s true that the film succeeds (surprisingly) at depicting the mostly one-dimensional characters’ requisite personal evolution over the course of the picture, that almost-accidental accomplishment is seriously overshadowed by a series of plot elements that largely feel thrown together, incorporated without a terribly great amount of thought and an undeniable lack of cohesiveness. And, to be honest, the picture’s most interesting character is the academy’s chief cook (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), whose richly layered persona (and deftly nuanced performance) runs circles around those of its other two principals (Giamatti and Dominic Sessa as one of the stranded students). It’s disappointing that a director as talented as Alexander Payne has churned out a project as half-baked as this one is (particularly one that comes across as self-satisfied with itself as this offering often does) when compared to previous titles like “Nebraska” (2013) and “The Descendants” (2011). And would-be viewers should be wary of many of the inflated claims and awards season buzz being showered on this offering. But, in an age in which moviegoers are looking for pictures that provide the kind of holiday cinema comfort they so desperately crave, it’s understandable that such viewers might be drawn to a film like this. It’s just such a shame that they won’t find what they’re looking for in this one.

Heartwarming films for the holidays are something we’re all supposed to love, right? Well, if you’re talking about the works of directors like Frank Capra, George Seaton, Michael Curtiz and Chris Columbus, you’d be correct. But, since it’s been so long since we’ve had releases of that quality, in recent years, viewers hungry for such movies have been glomming on to anything that even remotely approaches such titles, whether or not the accolades are deserved. And that, in my view, sums up my feelings on the much-celebrated new feature from director Alexander Payne. This tale of a curmudgeonly, condescending, middle-aged, fuss-budget prep school teacher (Paul Giamatti) assigned to babysit a group of rambunctious students who are unable to be with their families for the year-end holidays has a premise with considerable potential that, unfortunately, is squandered by a narrative that feels loosely stitched together and ultimately comes across as patently undercooked. Indeed, what could have been a fun-filled romp a la a Christmastime take on movies like “Dead Poets Society” (1989), regrettably, comes up decidedly short. Admittedly, the film has its share of modestly funny and warm, fuzzy moments, but many of the scenes don’t flow smoothly from one to the next, creating a storyline that feels forced without delivering the goods to make a release like this work. While it’s true that the film succeeds (surprisingly) at depicting the mostly one-dimensional characters’ requisite personal evolution over the course of the picture, that almost-accidental accomplishment is seriously overshadowed by a series of plot elements that largely feel thrown together, incorporated without a terribly great amount of thought and an undeniable lack of cohesiveness. And, to be honest, the picture’s most interesting character is the academy’s chief cook (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), whose richly layered persona (and deftly nuanced performance) runs circles around those of its other two principals (Giamatti and Dominic Sessa as one of the stranded students). It’s disappointing that a director as talented as Alexander Payne has churned out a project as half-baked as this one is (particularly one that comes across as self-satisfied with itself as this offering often does) when compared to previous titles like “Nebraska” (2013) and “The Descendants” (2011). And would-be viewers should be wary of many of the inflated claims and awards season buzz being showered on this offering. But, in an age in which moviegoers are looking for pictures that provide the kind of holiday cinema comfort they so desperately crave, it’s understandable that such viewers might be drawn to a film like this. It’s just such a shame that they won’t find what they’re looking for in this one.

Awesome heartwarming Christmas cheer. Loved the pacing, loved the tempo of the reveal, and loved the character arches. Not sure it's as repeatable as Wonderful Life or (original) Miracle on 34th. Ask me in a few Xmases.

We have all seen this nonsense before. A grumpy old man and a wisecracking youngster find ways to heal each-other over the course of one sensual holiday season. Maybe if this was the first one of these I have ever seen I would feel different, but there is just too much of this trash around to get excited about anything in here. Its not as cute as it thinks it is, and Giamatti is irritating. I get it, hes weird looking, and so they write him to smell bad and be generally repulsive. All we can do now is just move on, and heal.

The Holdovers is a thoughtful, sweet and pleasantly heartwarming film which feels like an old warm hug My Score : 92/100 "The Holdovers" is heartwarming tale of unlikely friendships. It's the kind of movie that lingers with you, gently nudging your conscience and leaving your heart a little fuller than before. The storyline is relatively straightforward, yet it's beautifully executed in a way that breathes a palpable life into each character and every scene.The film's setting, the 1970s, is captured with a sense of brilliance and authenticity that transport you back in time. The arcs of sensibility and chemistry between the characters grow on you as you watch their journey unfold. The film's runtime of 133 minutes feels like a swift, captivating journey rather than a drawn-out narrative. The powerful performances by the central leads, storytelling that feels personal, and the charming chemistry between the characters make this a wonderful Christmas film. 1. Heartwarming 1970s film: The film's setting, the 1970s, is captured with a sense of brilliance , subtlety and authenticity that transport you back in time. The film doesn't claim to be a comedy, but the subtle humour injected into the narrative adds a layer of charm and depth. 2. Compelling characters: The plot revolves around a cranky history teacher (Paul Giamatti), a troubled student, and a grieving cook. What starts as a friction-filled teacher-student relationship gradually evolves into an endearing friendship. The arcs of sensibility and chemistry between the characters grow on you as you watch their journey unfold. 3. Thoughtful Narrative : Holdovers is an heartwarming tale of unlikely friendship which carefully takes its characters and give them their own arcs. Its so sensible yet cheerful that you fall for the characters instantly as you spend some time with them. 4. Swift and engaging: The film's runtime of 133 minutes feels like a swift, captivating journey rather than a drawn-out narrative. Feels like a smooth buttery screenplay transporting you in the 1970s and you dont need to exercise your brains and enjoy a film. 5. Oscar-worthy performances: Paul Giamatti, in his portrayal of Paul Hunham, delivers a performance that is nothing short of magnetic. His brilliant acting justifies why he is often termed ingenious. He brings a depth to his character that feels authentic and relatable, making it easy for the audience to root for him. Dominic Tessa, as Angus Tully, encapsulates his character's loneliness, frustration, and excitement with a performance that is exceptional. He is a bright star in the making. Instagram and X : @streamgenx

Anyone remember John Houseman's professor "Kingsfield" in "The Paper Chase" (1973)? Well, that's who Paul Giamatti reminded me of here with his portrayal of the acerbic, no-nonsense, ancient civilisations lecturer "Hunham". It's the last day of term and he hands out examination results that persist at the lower end of the A-F scale! This causes quite a bit of consternation amongst the silver-spooned students who fear their wealthy parents more than him. He agrees to try and mitigate these impending disasters by giving them extra work but that just irritates the B+ student "Tully" (Dominic Sessa) whose intervention doesn't exactly make him any friends! Anyway, serendipity takes her revenge now and this lad's planned Christmas in St. Kitts is kiboshed and he finds himself stuck at school over the holidays with his least favourite school colleague "Kountze" (Brady Hepner) and his teaching nemesis all sleeping in the infirmary! Drawbridges are up and battle lines drawn right from the outset, and are only exacerbated when the other kids are whisked off skiing leaving just the two and their long-suffering cook "Mary" (Da'Vine Joy Randolph) - a lady who also happens to be grieving for her son who has been killed in action before his twentieth birthday. Not the makings for much festivities, but gradually the three begin to bond a little, the ice begins to thaw and - well I suppose the rest isn't really too hard to guess. It's not really the story that makes this work - that's not especially unique. It's the three characterful performances - especially from the young Sessa - peppered with a wonderful selection of perfectly delivered sarcastic humour, temper tantrums, a little slapstick and an increasingly engaging rapport between the two men who must learn to overcome their differences - some serious, some trivial, some completely non-existent - so that maybe, just maybe, they will be able to resume after the New Year on less openly hostile terms. To that end, our trio take a trip to Boston - but will that help? It does rather run out of steam towards the predicable ending but the first forty minutes are genuinely laugh out loud at times. Giamatti and Randolph are naturals with Sessa looking like a man we will see again. Good fun with messages of humanity and reconciliation that are delivered using comedy rather than too much sentiment.

I didn't care for The Holdovers. It was funny at times, and it was a good film, just not my cup of tea. But because it wasn't my cup of tea, I don't really have much to say about it. So I'll sum up a review that hasn't been written yet. TL;DR The movie was fine, not my favorite, and too slow for my liking. The actors did a great job, and... that's it, I think.

Never finished it. Really disappointing compared to the hype.

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