The HoldoversThe Holdovers
Close video

The Holdovers

A curmudgeonly instructor forms an unlikely bond with a brainy troublemaker and the school's head cook during Christmas break at a New England prep school.


Why watch this film?

One of those darling films of the awards season in 2024, The Holdovers follows the story of a teacher (Paul Giamatti, brilliant), a grieving cook (Da'Vine Joy Randolph), and a troubled student (Dominic Sessa) who come together during the year-end celebrations when all other students, teachers, and staff go home – they, however, need to stay as the young man has nowhere else to go. Well-directed by Alexander Payne (known for above-average films like Nebraska, Sideways and The Descendants), the feature manages to stir emotions with the story of these characters seemingly rejected by life but finding each other in their differences – although the script emphasizes that there are more similarities than differences among these three characters. Joy Randolph and Sessa perform well, but the film belongs entirely to Giamatti, delivering a poignant yet funny portrayal of this teacher hated by students with unexpected eccentricities. Just don't expect a Dead Poets Society: the film is more about human relationships than teachers' lessons.



Our suggestions

Plot summary

From acclaimed director Alexander Payne, The Holdovers follows a curmudgeonly instructor (Paul Giamatti) at a New England prep school who is forced to remain on campus during Christmas break to babysit the handful of students with nowhere to go. Eventually he forms an unlikely bond with one of them — a damaged, brainy troublemaker (newcomer Dominic Sessa) — and with the school's head cook, who has just lost a son in Vietnam (Da'Vine Joy Randolph).

To share

Where to watch?