Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Year-End Movies I: The Holdovers and Ferrari

Dominic Sessa and Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers.

The review of The Holdovers contains spoilers.

In The Holdovers a prodigiously bright but desperately unhappy teenager with a checkered academic history and the sour, supercilious Ancient Civilizations teacher at his boarding school are stuck with each other’s company over Christmas week of 1970, when the campus, a few hours’ drive from Boston, is deserted except for these two, the cook and the caretaker. Initially there are four other “holdovers” but the screenwriter, David Hemingson, employs a wobbly plot twist to scatter them so that he and the director, Alexander Payne, can home in on the teacher, Paul Hunham (Paul Giamatti), the boy, Angus Tully (Dominic Sessa), and the cook, Mary Lamb (Da’Vine Joy Randolph).