Thursday, November 23, 2023

The Holdovers - 3 1/2 Stars - November 10, 2023 - THEATERS

The Holdovers reunites actor Paul Giamatti with director Alexander Payne, the man who turned their last collaboration into the delightful film Sideways. Payne also charmed audiences with Nebraska and The Descendants, arguably one of George Clooney's greatest roles.  So, what I'm saying is, they had me at "Hello." Giamatti teaches ancient history at a prep school somewhere in the far northeast.  The guy isn't exactly Mr. Chips, in fact, the students hate him, making fun of him behind his back.  Even the administration doesn't like him, which explains the set up.  The professor is required to stay in school over the holidays babysitting several young students unable to go home for various reasons.  A twist of fate leaves Giamatti with the excellent young actor Dominic Sessa.  The school cook played by Da'Vine Joy Randolph rounds out the characters, who ultimately take off on a road trip where everyone learns a thing or two from each other.  Although the plot is fairly predictable, it's good predictable.  I liked where it took me.  You won't find The Holdovers on one of your screening services for a while.  That's ok. This one's worth trekking to the theater to watch.