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133 min.
Alexander Payne
Drama, Comedy
Rating *
Votes *
11.5% (1:9)
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. Siskoid's avatar


    Alexander Payne really does capture the look of 70s cinema in The Holdovers, so well that my friend admitted to thinking it was too bad the actor playing kid didn't really do anything after this (before she caught herself). It's a kind of reverse Dead Poets Society with Paul Giamatti in Robin Williams' role, except he's been at that prep school forever, and all the students hate him. Stuck babysitting rich boys who aren't going home for the holidays becomes a catalyst for comedy, while Da'Vine Joy Randolph's grieving cook supplies the drama. Except, it's not always so cut an dried. Giamatti always seems to hide a desperate sadness, and Randolph can be amusingly cutting. And of course there's Dominic Sessa as the trouble maker who might just bond with the teacher. The key line in the film comes from Giamatti's Ancient Civilizations teacher: "If we're to understand the world and ourselves, we have to understand the past." (I'm paraphrasing.) And yes, why are these people so lonely and broken? They'll eventually tell all and possibly turn their lives around. It's a pretty standard plot, but it lives and breathes through its strong characters and performances. So did it have to take place in the 1970s? Only insofar as parents need to be hard to reach, but so long as you need something like that to make your premise work, might as well go all in stylistically. 5 months ago
  2. CakeofSugar's avatar


    What a gorgeous, funny, moving film - the deft art of sympathy. A film that skillfully notes how being a dick or a bully or a hardass is easier, but being kind and empathetic and gentle is infinitely more rewarding. I laughed, and then I cried, and then I smiled. Giamatti truly brilliant, Sessa an absolute find, and Randolph a passionate presence despite the weakest character in the film (only in that it's the least subtle) 3 months 1 week ago
  3. baraka92's avatar


    Like others have said, this feels like a lost Hal Ashby (with a touch of John Hughes). The characters, the story, the tone and the look are all there.
    Loved Giamatti, Randolph and Sessa, who couldn't have dreamed of a better screen debut.

    I think it's like an Anti-Goodbye Mr. Chips (not that I don't like that movie). Teachers don't need to have a thousand children; with one is enough.

    Among my favorites of the year and one I'll keep returning to in future Christmases.
    4 months ago
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