The Holdovers – Alexander Payne – Paul Giamatti – Da’vine Joy Randolph – Movie Review by Efe Teksoy


Cinema Writer/Film Critic Efe TEKSOY; wrote the comedy and drama film “THE HOLDOVERS”,  for America’s Los Angeles-based Internet Newspaper @alaturkanews.



Premiering at the 50th Telluride Film Festival on August 31, 2023, The Holdovers is a compelling Christmas comedy-drama directed by Oscar-winner Alexander Payne. The film, which was nominated for the 77th BAFTA Film Awards in 7 categories, was listed among the top 10 films of 2023 by the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute. One of the standout films of the award season with its dramatic structure, impressive plot, and strong actor performances. The Holdovers was nominated in 3 categories for the 81st Golden Globe Awards. Da’Vine Joy Randolph wins the award for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture for her role in The Holdovers. Also, Paul Giamatti won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for his turn as Mr. Hunham. In the production of the Campus Film genre, a touching story set in the early 1970s is told. Paul Hunham, a grumpy history teacher at Barton Academy, is forced to chaperone a group of troubled students who have nowhere to go during Christmas break. But then, with most of the students leaving, he is left alone with his student named Angus. This student-teacher relationship between the two, who cannot warm up to each other at first, turns into an emotional bond resembling a father-son relationship over time, causing a close parental bond to form between them. Thus, we are greeted with a black comedy whose subtext is adorned with the contrasts of a generational conflict. In addition, as a travel story is an important plot point, it offers the audience a sometimes sad and sometimes joyful adventure.



-On the day of shooting the scene Angus calls home, Dominic Sessa flubbed a take because he didn’t know how to dial, and had to be shown how. It hadn’t occurred to anyone that he had never used a rotary phone before.

-Even though the movie features a heavy film look reminiscent of the 1970s, it was entirely shot digitally on the ARRI Alexa Mini. All the hallmarks of celluloid film, like the film grain, halation, dirt, and gate weave, were added in post-production.

-Paul Hunham’s “lazy eye” was Paul Giamatti’s idea and started as a prank on co-star Dominic Sessa before being incorporated into the script.



Paul Hunham’s (Paul Giamatti) lazy or glassy eye constantly deliberately switches from his left eye to his right eye in different scenes throughout the film, allowing the audience to share Tully’s (Dominic Sessa) confusion as to which one

to look at. Related to this, director Alexander Payne came up with the idea of ​​constantly changing the lazy eyes and car doors on both sides of the set to show the character development of trying to see yourself in someone else’s situation. No sets or sound stages were used for the film, which was shot entirely in real locations.

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