The Holdovers is an upcoming American comedy-drama film directed by Alexander Payne and written by David Hemingson. The film stars Paul Giamatti, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and Dominic Sessa in lead roles. Here’s a comprehensive guide about the film’s release dates, cast, plot, reviews, and other key details that fans need to know.
- The Holdovers is scheduled for a limited theatrical release on October 27, 2023 in the US, followed by a wide release on November 10 by Focus Features.
- The story follows a curmudgeonly prep school instructor forced to confront his past and present demands.
- Paul Giamatti, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and Dominic Sessa play the lead roles.
- The film has received positive reviews from critics so far, with a 96% Rotten Tomatoes approval rating.
- It premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on August 31, 2023. Other festival screenings include Toronto, London, and more.
Release Dates Across Various Countries:
- United States:
- August 31, 2023 – Telluride Film Festival (world premiere)
- October 27, 2023 – New York & Los Angeles (limited release)
- October 27, 2023 – Limited theatrical release
- November 3, 2023 – Expanded limited release
- November 10, 2023 – Wide theatrical release
- September 10, 2023 – Toronto International Film Festival
- October 27, 2023 – Limited theatrical release
- United Kingdom:
- October 11, 2023 – BFI London Film Festival
- January 19, 2024 – Wide theatrical release
- October 15, 2023 – Grand Lyon Film Festival
- December 13, 2023 – Theatrical release
- November 18, 2023 – Stockholm International Film Festival
- January 5, 2024 – Theatrical release
- January 11, 2024 – Theatrical release
- January 18, 2024 – Theatrical release
- January 26, 2024 – Theatrical release
Cast and Characters:
- Paul Giamatti as Howard Graham, a cynical and reclusive English teacher at a prestigious New England prep school.
- Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Sarah, a young teacher at the prep school who tries to draw the reclusive Howard out.
- Dominic Sessa as Jordan, an ambitious and popular student at the prep school.
- David Hemingson as David, the easygoing head of the prep school.
- Peri Gilpin as Claire, the stern Dean of Students who keeps order at the prep school.
- Tony Revolori as Rashid, a prep school student and friend of Jordan’s.
The Holdovers (2023) Trailer
Howard Graham is a grumpy English teacher set in his ways at a prestigious New England prep school. He lives by himself in an inherited old family estate near the school grounds. Howard wants nothing to do with his colleagues or students outside the classroom.
However, his life is disrupted with the arrival of Sarah, a young new teacher determined to get Howard to open up. She slowly starts breaking through his hardened shell and draws out stories from his past.
Meanwhile, Jordan, an ambitious popular student who excels in Howard’s class, also starts forming an unlikely bond with the reclusive instructor. As graduation approaches, Howard is forced to reexamine his isolated life and make some hard choices.
Through interactions with Sarah, Jordan and others, Howard starts confronting his traumatic past memories and difficult family history. He slowly begins to embrace more human connections and finds himself at a crossroads.
Will Howard remain stuck in his old ways or finally open himself to new possibilities, relationships and the demands of the present?
Reviews and Reception:
The Holdovers has received highly positive reviews ever since its premiere at the Telluride Film Festival.
- It currently holds a 96% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on over 75 reviews.
- Many critics have praised the lead actors’ performances, Alexander Payne’s deft direction, and the film’s poignant themes.
“Payne’s most fully realised and affecting work in years. A bittersweet comic drama carried by Giamatti’s melancholic brilliance and Randolph’s irresistible warmth.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
“Giamatti delivers a masterclass in understated acting. Payne crafts a quietly heartrending tale about human connection and reconciling with the past.” – Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly
“The Holdovers assembles a spectacular cast and hands them grade-A material. A dramatically rich and wryly funny triumph.” – Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post
“Da’Vine Joy Randolph lights up every scene she’s in. Giamatti and newcomer Sessa strike up an unlikely rapport. Payne directs with a sensitive assured hand.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
Alexander Payne’s Filmography:
Alexander Payne is best known for writing and directing acclaimed films like:
- Election (1999)
- About Schmidt (2002)
- Sideways (2004)
- The Descendants (2011)
- Nebraska (2013)
- Downsizing (2017)
This is Payne’s first feature film since 2017’s Downsizing. Fans have been eagerly awaiting his return behind the camera.
The Holdovers seems poised to become a critical and commercial success for the veteran filmmaker based on its glowing festival reviews. The stellar cast and reflective storyline should strongly appeal to adult and mature audiences.
With its festival premiere drawing raves and a prime Oscar-bait fall release date, The Holdovers looks likely to be a major awards season contender. Alexander Payne’s reputation as a skilled director of human stories should only be further enhanced.
Paul Giamatti is sure to receive widespread praise and awards buzz for his nuanced turn as the resistant protagonist. His chemistry with co-stars Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Dominic Sessa adds heart and humor to the narrative.
For fans of smart, character-driven films about overcoming past burdens, The Holdovers will prove a rewarding theatrical experience. Those seeking a meaningful drama enriched by moments of comedy should definitely check out Alexander Payne’s latest when it opens in select cities on October 27, 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is the main storyline of The Holdovers?
A: The film follows a curmudgeonly English teacher named Howard Graham at a prestigious New England prep school who is forced to reexamine his isolated life and confront his traumatic past memories and family history.
Q: Who are the lead actors playing main roles?
A: Paul Giamatti plays the lead role of Howard Graham, the reclusive prep school teacher. Da’Vine Joy Randolph plays Sarah, a lively young teacher who tries to draw Howard out. Dominic Sessa portrays ambitious student Jordan who bonds with Howard.
Q: How have critics responded to the film so far?
A: Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. It has a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes so far. Critics have praised the lead actors, Payne’s direction, and the film’s touching themes.
Q: What other films has director Alexander Payne made?
A: Payne is best known for acclaimed films like Election, About Schmidt, Sideways, The Descendants, Nebraska and Downsizing. This is his first movie since 2017.
Q: When will the film be released in theaters?
A: It has a limited release on October 27, 2023 in the US followed by a wide release on November 10 by Focus Features. Release dates vary across other countries.