This week we get back to talking about new movies, and it is the time of the year that the cream begins to rise to the top. Director Alexander Payne is a two time Academy Award winning screenwriter, and a three time directing nominee, so when he shows up with a new film, it seems likely to be talked about in the awards season. “The Holdovers” features a cranky history teacher at a remote prep school who is forced to remain on campus over the holidays with a troubled student who has no place to go.
Many films have centered around the events at a prep school, from “Goodbye Mr. Chips” to the Harry Potter series, it’s not hard to find a story about students and their teachers in this sort of setting. “Dead Poets Society” centered around an inspirational teacher, but “The Holdovers” teacher is not likely to inspire anything but resentment from most students.
Paul Giamatti plays the curmudgeon history teacher Mr. Hunham, who ends up babysitting the kids at the school who have been left behind by their parents. Nicole Ayers, Howard Casner, and Rachel Wagner join the class to discuss the film and it’s merits. What sort of grade will we give “The Holdovers”? You will have to listen or watch to find out.
It’s not a secret however to say that Da’Vine Joy Randolph steals the movie with her turn as the grieving cafeteria administrator and cook. She may very well be a sure thing in the upcoming awards season. Dominic Sessa makes his debut as a troubled student who is also trouble. This film is both comedy and drama and features performances that all of the guests this week admired.
Opening Thoughts 3:20
Paul Giamatti Talk 21:10
Racial Political Issues 30:33
Time Period and Setting 39:00
Spoiler Wall Comes Down 42:30
Lamb scores 56:30
Exit Question 1:01:30
Howard Pop Art
Nicole The MadLab Post
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