Hey there, fellow movie lovers!
I just got back from the Oriental Theater (my local indie theater here in Milwaukee) from seeing “The Holdovers,” a film that was just released this week. And wow, I just had to sit down and share my thoughts with you all. This film, let me tell you, it’s something special.
First off, the setting is just perfect. The story takes place in a prep school during the Christmas season of 1970, which gives it this cozy, almost nostalgic feel. The cinematography? Stunning. Every shot looks like it could be a postcard from a bygone era.
What really struck me was the character development. Paul, played by the incredible Paul Giamatti, starts off as this grumpy, unlikable character. But as the story unfolds, you start to see the layers peel back, revealing a much more complex and sympathetic character. But I also have to give major props to the actors playing Angus (Dominic Sessa) and Mary (Da’Vine Joy Randolph). They bring such depth and authenticity to their roles, making every scene they’re in absolutely captivating.
Now, let’s talk about the plot. It revolves around Paul, a universally disliked teacher, and Angus, the trouble-making student whose disruptive behavior has gotten him expelled in the past. Paul and Angus are both ‘holdovers’ during the Christmas break, along with the cafeteria manager, Mary, a grieving mother whose son was recently lost in Vietnam. The dynamic between these three characters is the heart of the movie, and it’s handled so beautifully.
I’ve got to delve deeper into the dynamic between Paul and Angus, because it’s just too good not to mention. These two characters are like oil and water – so different that their interactions are both hilariously relatable and deeply insightful.
Paul, the gruff, abrasive teacher who’s seen it all, and Angus, the rebellious student, bring out the best and worst in each other. Their back-and-forth is not just entertaining; it’s a clever depiction of generational clashes and differing worldviews. Their relationship adds a whole new layer to the film, making it not just a story about unlikely friendships, but also about understanding and bridging gaps.
The way these two characters challenge each other, often unintentionally leading to growth and self-realization, is a testament to the film’s brilliant writing and character development. It’s fascinating to watch as their initial animosity gradually transforms into a grudging respect, and then into something resembling a quirky mentor-mentee relationship.
Their dynamic also adds a lot of humor to the movie. The witty banter, the eye-rolling moments, the unexpected moments of vulnerability – it’s all there, painting a very real picture of how people from different walks of life can influence each other in the most unexpected ways.
Oh – and the dialogue in this film was sharp, witty, and often surprisingly profound. There were many moments that had me laughing out loud, and others where I found myself nodding along, deeply touched.
One more thing that struck me that I want to mention is the film’s portrayal of smoking – it’s practically a character in its own right! In “The Holdovers,” you’ll notice people smoking everywhere: at the dinner table, in the theater, in their offices, you name it. It’s an authentic nod to the era the movie is set in – the 1970s, when smoking was far more prevalent and socially accepted than it is today.
This detail, while small, adds a significant layer of realism to the film. It’s like the filmmakers are saying, “Hey, this is how it was,” without glamorizing or condemning it. You’ll see characters engaging in conversations with a cigarette or pipe in hand, in scenes that range from casual to highly emotional. It’s fascinating to observe how this aspect is woven seamlessly into the fabric of the film, reflecting the social norms and attitudes of the time. It transported me right back into the heart of the 1970s.
In short, “The Holdovers” isn’t just a film; it’s an experience. It’s a story about human connection, growth, and understanding, wrapped up in a beautifully shot, wonderfully acted package. Whether you’re a fan of dramas, character studies, or just good storytelling in general, this is a film that should be on your radar. This film is a beautiful blend of humor, heart, and humanity, and the dynamic between Paul, Angus and Mary is one of its many highlights.
If you’re looking for a movie that’s a little off the beaten path but incredibly rewarding, give this one a watch. You won’t regret it!
Alright, that’s enough rambling from me! If you’ve seen “The Holdovers,” I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Go check it out!
Catch you in the next screening!
P.S. Thus far, I’ve enjoyed every movie I’ve seen for my movie-a-day challenge. I can’t help but wonder when my luck is going to run out?