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Paul Giamatti gives a Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated performance in the funny, rueful, and deeply pleasurable new comedy-drama from Alexander Payne (Sideways, Nebraska, The Descendants) that feels like a future classic, and has been nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture, and seven BAFTAS, including Best Film and Best Director.
A spirited comedy-drama, The Holdovers is set in a New England school in the 1970s, where strict, curmudgeonly Barton Academy teacher Paul (Giamatti) is forced to supervise the students who can’t return home for Christmas. This year, he cohabits with rebellious teen Angus (Dominic Sessa) and the school’s head cook, Mary (Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actress), both of whom are struggling with unseasonal personal circumstances. Stuck together in the absence of family, this unlikely trio is drawn repeatedly together and apart.
Brilliantly performed by Giamatti, Randolph and Sessa and replete with authentic 1970s stylings, The Holdovers is a terrific new work from Payne, both warm and melancholic.