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  • Writer's pictureTierney Deanne

The Holdovers

The Holdovers is set in the 1970's. Although it is filmed on a modern digital camera, it was given artificial grain and faux scratches in post production to make it look and feel authentic to the time period.

Paul Giamatti* plays Paul Hunham, a teacher at an all boys boarding school. Hunham is an alumni to the school and has been around as a teacher for decades. Even the current principle is his former student. The school is maintained by rich parents, donating money in order to get their kids into prestigious universities. Hunham feels education is much more important than money, a moral that the principle of the school does not share.

Da'vine Joy Randolph* plays Mary, a mother to a former student who was recently killed serving in the Vietnam War. Mary remains a staff member of the school in the cafeteria. A job she started so that she put her son through school there.

The end of the year holidays are approaching so the school is preparing to go on winter break. Everyone is set to go off to be with their families, everyone except for a few select boys who will be left behind. These boys are called the holdovers. A teacher must also stay behind to watch the boys that are staying. Through a bad turn of events, Hunham is the chosen teacher to stay behind with the holdovers. Mary chooses to stay as well to cook for the boys and Mr. Hunham.

A total of five boys are left behind at the school for the holidays. That is, until the football star got his dad to send a helicopter to come get them so they could go skiing. One of the boys, Angus Tully played by Dominic Sessa, can not get ahold of his parents and so he is not allowed to go on the ski trip with the other boys.

Hunham is a very unhappy man, always reaching for whiskey, without a very strong social life. Mary is clearly depressed about her son, unable to move on or face the fact that he isn't coming home. Tully is upset about his mother abandoning him and so he acts out and starts trouble with Hunham.

Tully and Hunham become unlikely friends as they share each others disdain for life. The boys not only help each other, but also bring Mary out of her shell.

We eventually find out why Hunham was forced to return to teach at his alma mater, Barton. And why he was never pleased with this job. We also discover why he holds education at a much higher standard than money.

This movie is about finding the right people when you need them the most but expect them the least.

*Paul Giamatti won best actor in a musical or comedy film for The Holdovers

*Da'vine Joy Randolph won best supporting actress in a motion picture for The Holdovers

Available to stream on Peacock

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