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The Holdovers (2023)

A heartwarming Christmas comedy-drama set in the late 1970s at a New England boarding school. The film revolves around three unlikely companions who find themselves stranded during the holiday break:

Paul Hunham (played by Paul Giamatti): A strict classics teacher at Barton Academy, Hunham is generally disliked by students and staff. His grumpy demeanor and belligerent use of authority leave him with few friends. When some students remain at the school over the break, Paul reluctantly supervises them, assigning schoolwork as his only recourse.

Angus (played by Dominic Sessa): A 15-year-old troublemaker with razor wit, Angus harbors aggression born from uncertainty. His interactions with Paul reveal unexpected layers beneath his tough exterior.

Mary (played by Da’Vine Joy Randolph): The head cook at the school, Mary is grieving the loss of her son in the Vietnam War. Her grief weighs heavily, making each day feel like quicksand.

As the trio spends the holiday together, their lives intersect in profound ways. David Hemingson’s script explores the unpredictable turns that strangers can introduce, even long after we think we’re done adjusting. The film avoids predictable plot twists, emphasizing the organic flow of life lessons. If Hunham represents the reluctant father figure, Mary becomes the mother figure, and Angus adds youthful energy to their dynamic.

“The Holdovers” is consistently smart, funny, and easy to root for. Payne’s direction and the performances of the cast make these characters relatable, reminding us of our own struggles and the unexpected bonds that form during challenging times.

The programme starts 30 minutes after doors open and on Saturdays the main feature about 60 minutes after doors open.

A cranky history teacher at a remote prep school is forced to remain on campus over the holidays with a troubled student who has no place to go and a grieving cook.

Doors open:

6:30pm Saturday 22nd June 2024


Alexander Payne


Comedy, Drama
2h 13m
Ian Dolley, Paul Giamatti, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Carrie Preston
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