Beautifully bittersweet, The Holdovers marks a satisfying return to form for Oscar-winning director Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants). With a throwback ’70s style, this dark comedy centers on a cranky prep school history teacher (Paul Giamatti) forced to remain on campus over the holidays to look after the troubled student (newcomer Dominic Sessa) who has nowhere else to go. Da’Vine Joy Randolph plays the school’s head cook grieving the loss of her son in Vietnam. She goes head-to-head with Giamatti and Sessa as they all unfold their complex character arcs.
“Nothing about The Holdovers sounds particularly special, and yet it’s one of director Alexander Payne’s best films — very funny, occasionally touching and a sterling example of the bonds that can be forged by an unlikely family.” — Brian Lowry, CNN.com
“Set in 1970s New England, The Holdovers doesn’t only have the look and feel of that time period, it resuscitates the finest elements of its narrative traditions.” — Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
Paul Giamatti, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Dominic Sessa