We are decently on our way to our movie goal, but I also know we always start out the year strong due to Oscar contention movies - then we usually sink like a stone.
I'm hoping to rectify the pattern.
Via Instagram, I saw previews for the Holdovers back in May (!!!) 2023. It looked good and I'm a fan of Paul Giamatti (honestly, if you have never seen the HBO series on John Adams, you must!) and director Alexander Payne.
Admittedly, the previews made the movie seem funnier and more whimsical than it was, and I should know better. Payne's Election, the Descendants and Nebraska all had light moments with heavier themes. Eons ago I tried sitting through his Sideways (also with Giamatti), but couldn't get into it.
While I won't get into any kind of true spoiler - the premise is an all-boy's boarding school over the winter holidays, some kids have nowhere to go, so they are holdovers at the school for the break. A faculty member is assigned to watch over them.
With what could have easily turned into a higher-brow'd Breakfast Club, Payne makes sure it does not, and he does it well.
The movie rides on three performances (for the most part) with one or two others thrown in for great measure (Carrie Preston). The thing is, for the two male characters (Giamatti and Dominic Sessa - who has never been in a movie) you kind of want to root for them; kind of not. Either way, they don't make it easy, but they're not supposed to.
Giamatti gives a great performance. Sessa does too - though times he looks like a teen student, sometimes like a 37 year old. Heaps of praise are being given to school cook played by Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and she's good, but I'm not convinced it's an over the top good.
I find with Payne movies, multiple viewings usually help too. It assists in the dramatic and comedic aspects and how it all pulls together.
While this is still at some theaters, due to the Oscar nominations, you can rent it on amazon prime for like $6. It was a lot cheaper than two movie tickets. Hell, it was a lot cheaper than one.
2024 Movie Count / Goal: 03 of 15
Song by: Fleetwood Mac