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The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

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The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

Old 08-19-21, 10:59 AM
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The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

News is a little old, but since I saw the news about The Menu and Payne not being attached anymore, I saw this was what is now his next project.

EXCLUSIVE: Miramax has acquired worldwide rights to The Holdovers, the Alexander Payne-directed film that reteams him with Sideways star Paul Giamatti. David Hemingson wrote the script, Mark Johnson is producing, and the film is now greenlighted for a January start date in New England.

“The vision of Alexander Payne is cinematically singular, and his realization of David Hemingson’s script and its central character Professor Hunham by Paul Giamatti will be one for the decade,” said Miramax CEO Bill Block in confirming the deal to Deadline. “With Mark Johnson producing, we are grateful to bring this to the world.”

In the deal made by CAA Media Finance (domestic) and FilmNation (international), Payne gets to make his movie without territories needing to be pre-sold. After coming through a pandemic during which WarnerMedia surprised filmmakers and stars by putting its entire 2021 slate simultaneously on HBO Max and other studios sold finished films to streamers, the feeling was that when possible with a director with the stature of Payne, the best way to have a say in distribution is to make the movie and sort the distribution later. The rich Netflix deal that was made for Rian Johnson, Daniel Craig and Ram Bergman for two sequels to Knives Out at around $450 million (possible because they’d made the original on a single-picture license), is evidence of what can happen when the filmmakers have more of a say.

Deadline previously identified the Payne-Giamatti pairing on The Holdovers as a Cannes Virtual Market buzz title. Here again, the plot: Nobody likes Deerfield Academy teacher Paul Hunham (Giamatti) — not his students, not his fellow faculty, not the headmaster, who all find his pomposity and rigidity exasperating. With no family and nowhere to go over Christmas holiday in 1970, Paul remains at school to supervise students unable to journey home. After a few days, only one student holdover remains — a trouble-making 15-year-old named Angus, a good student whose bad behavior always threatens to get him expelled. Joining Paul and Angus is Deerfield’s head cook Mary, an African American woman who caters to sons of privilege and whose own son was recently lost in Vietnam. These three very different shipwrecked people form an unlikely Christmas family sharing comic misadventures during two very snowy weeks in New England. The real journey is how they help one another understand that they are not beholden to their past — they can choose their own futures.

Payne and Giamatti teamed memorably on the 2004 wine-tasting road-trip comedy Sideways, which won Payne and Jim Taylor Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay. The Holdovers is a comedy, with the poignancy and grounded characters of past films including Nebraska, The Descendants and Sideways.

“I came across a writing sample for a pilot set in a prep school by David Hemingson,” Payne told Deadline two weeks ago. “I called him, told him the idea, and he jumped at it. Ever since I worked with Paul in Sideways, I’ve wanted to work with him again, and this role is tailor made for him. I continue to think now as I did then. … I hate to use the term ‘the finest actor of his generation’ because there are so many wonderful actors, but when I worked with him on Sideways, I was astounded by his range. As a director you want actors who can make even bad dialogue work, and he can do that. He can just do anything. I think it’s a matter of time before he gets his Oscar.”

He becomes the fulcrum for the unlikely trio.

“The story focuses on one kid in particular, a real smart-ass troublemaker who’s 15 years old and a good kid underneath,” Payne said. “His widowed mother has recently married a rich guy, and she wants to use this vacation as her honeymoon. At the last minute, she breaks the kid’s heart and tells him he has to stay at the school. Selected this year [to watch the stranded students] is Paul Giamatti, this curmudgeonly walleyed disliked history teacher. Eventually, the other three or four boys find other places to go and it becomes a two-hander, but actually a three-hander because of the cook who stays behind and it becomes about the adventures of these three over a very snowy Christmas holiday in New England.”
https://deadline.com/2021/06/miramax...et-1234782708/
Old 08-19-21, 11:32 AM
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re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

A minor thing for sure, but I hate when actors and characters share the same first name. You don't see that much. I remember when I saw a shitty Ben Affleck-Sandra Bullock film called Forces of Nature and Affleck played a guy named Ben and I found it really distracting.
Old 08-19-21, 12:01 PM
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re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

Payne has never impressed me as much as he does the critics but I thought both Election and The Descendants were wonderful.

Im also a big fan of Giamatti. The plot doesn’t sound particularly captivating but I’ll give it a watch. Particularly if it hits HBOmax or Netflix.

Edit: I realize I wrote almost the same exact thing about Payne in The Menu thread 2 years ago. Sorry for repeating myself.
Old 08-19-21, 09:56 PM
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re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

Hopefully Payne and Giamatti can capture the magic they had in Sideways. Now that was a great film.
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Old 08-20-21, 01:18 PM
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re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

Originally Posted by Decker
A minor thing for sure, but I hate when actors and characters share the same first name. You don't see that much. I remember when I saw a shitty Ben Affleck-Sandra Bullock film called Forces of Nature and Affleck played a guy named Ben and I found it really distracting.
I've always been charmed that both Jack and Danny in The Shining are played by actors named Jack and Danny. They should have changed Wendy's name to Shelley.
Old 08-20-21, 03:16 PM
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re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

Good point, it never bothered me with Jack. (I had no idea who played little Danny).
Old 08-23-21, 11:07 AM
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re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

Originally Posted by Crocker Jarmen
They should have changed Wendy's name to Shelley.
I don't see why not...they changed everything else.
Old 09-12-22, 03:27 PM
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re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

EXCLUSIVE: The biggest deal ever made at Toronto will be on a film that is not in the Toronto Film Festival roster. I’m hearing that Focus Features is tying up a $30 million worldwide rights deal with Miramax’s Bill Block and CAA Media Finance for The Holdovers, after a discreet screening here for buyers held Sunday. Focus will give the film a theatrical release, and Middle East is the only turf not covered in the deal. The film marks the reteam between director Alexander Payne and Paul Giamatti, who teamed memorably in the 2004 wine-tasting road trip comedy Sideways, a film that won Payne and Jim Taylor Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay. David Hemingson wrote The Holdovers script and Mark Johnson, Block and Hemingson produced. Plan is to release late in 2023.

The Holdovers is a comedy, with the poignancy and grounded characters of past Payne films including Nebraska, The Descendants and Sideways. Giamatti plays a universally disliked teacher at the prep school Deerfield Academy. His non-fans include his students, fellow faculty and headmaster — who all find his pomposity and rigidity exasperating. With no family and nowhere to go over Christmas holiday in 1970, Paul remains at school to supervise students unable to journey home. After a few days, only one student holdover remains — a troublemaking 15-year-old named Angus, a good student undermined by bad behavior that always threatens to get him expelled. Joining Paul and Angus is Deerfield’s head cook Mary, an African-American woman who caters to sons of privilege and whose own son recently was lost in Vietnam. These three very different shipwrecked people form an unlikely Christmas family, sharing comic misadventures during two very snowy weeks in New England, and realizing that none of them is beholden to their past.

Miramax’s Block made the film and held back the rights until it was done. It’s similar to what the company did on Wrath of Man, The Gentleman, He’s All That and I, Tonya. They then sell to a distributor after, taking the risk.

Deadline put the film atop its TIFF hot list and first revealed the project before Payne shot it. At the time, he said: “I came across a writing sample for a pilot set in a prep school by David Hemingson. I called him, told him the idea, and he jumped at it. Ever since I worked with Paul in Sideways, I’ve wanted to work with him again, and this role is tailor made for him. I continue to think now as I did then. … I hate to use the term ‘the finest actor of his generation’ because there are so many wonderful actors, but when I worked with him on Sideways, I was astounded by his range. As a director you want actors who can make even bad dialogue work, and he can do that. He can just do anything. I think it’s a matter of time before he gets his Oscar.”

He becomes the fulcrum for the unlikely trio.

“The story focuses on one kid in particular, a real smart-ass troublemaker who’s 15 years old and a good kid underneath,” Payne said. “His widowed mother has recently married a rich guy, and she wants to use this vacation as her honeymoon. At the last minute, she breaks the kid’s heart and tells him he has to stay at the school. Selected this year [to watch the stranded students] is Paul Giamatti, this curmudgeonly walleyed disliked history teacher. Eventually, the other three or four boys find other places to go and it becomes a two-hander, but actually a three-hander because of the cook who stays behind and it becomes about the adventures of these three over a very snowy Christmas holiday in New England.”
https://deadline.com/2022/09/the-hol...ng-1235115566/
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Old 02-23-23, 02:52 PM
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Re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

Here’s a movie Focus Features is excited about for next awards season, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see it world premiering at a big film festival some time this year: Alexander Payne’s New England prep school comedy The Holdovers. The Universal label just dated the pic for November 10 with a wider break on Wednesday, November 22 ahead of Thanksgiving.

Deadline first told you about the movie, which stars Payne’s Sideways star Paul Giamatti, when its global rights were scooped up by Focus at the Toronto Film Festival for $30 million.

The David Hemingson-scripted, Payne-directed title follows a curmudgeonly instructor (Giamatti) at an elite New England prep school who is forced to remain on campus during Christmas break to babysit the handful of students with nowhere to go. Eventually he forms an unlikely bond with one of them — a damaged, brainy troublemaker (newcomer Dominic Sessa) — and with the school’s head cook (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), who has just lost a son in Vietnam. The movie was shot at the Deerfield Academy private school in Deerfield, MA.

Holdovers was produced by Mark Johnson, Bill Block and Hemingson. Chris Stinson, Tom Williams, Andrew Golov and Thom Zadra served as EPs. Focus is releasing the movie stateside with Universal Pictures International handling overseas distribution.
https://deadline.com/2023/02/alexand...te-1235268774/
Old 07-17-23, 10:17 AM
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Re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

A new film by Alexander Payne, director of SIDEWAYS and THE DESCENDANTS. Paul Giamatti stars in THE HOLDOVERS, only in theaters this November.

From acclaimed director Alexander Payne, THE HOLDOVERS follows a curmudgeonly instructor (Paul Giamatti) at a New England prep school who is forced to remain on campus during Christmas break to babysit the handful of students with nowhere to go. Eventually he forms an unlikely bond with one of them -- a damaged, brainy troublemaker (newcomer Dominic Sessa) -- and with the school’s head cook, who has just lost a son in Vietnam (Da’Vine Joy Randolph).
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Old 07-17-23, 07:20 PM
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Re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

That actually looks very good. I’ve been a fan of Randolph since I first saw her in the High Fidelity series, in the Jack Black role. I find her delivery of lines hilarious, but clearly she’s doing something more dramatic here. The actor who plays the kid (a newcomer) looks awful old for Prep school, but I can’t seem to find how old the actor actually is. Since he’s a complete unknown, I have to assume he’s close to high school age or at least looks the part.
Old 07-17-23, 07:26 PM
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Re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

Originally Posted by Decker
That actually looks very good. I’ve been a fan of Randolph since I first saw her in the High Fidelity series, in the Jack Black role. I find her delivery of lines hilarious, but clearly she’s doing something more dramatic here. The actor who plays the kid (a newcomer) looks awful old for Prep school, but I can’t seem to find how old the actor actually is. Since he’s a complete unknown, I have to assume he’s close to high school age or at least looks the part.
If this article is accurate, he graduated from prep school in 2022. So, he would be 19 or 20? https://deerfieldscroll.com/2022/06/...dominic-sessa/
Old 07-17-23, 09:06 PM
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Re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

It doesn't look as good as I'd hoped based on how good Sideways was with the Payne/Giamatti connection, but it looks decent enough to give it a shot.

Did Giamatti always have a lazy eye, or did they do something just for the film?
Old 07-17-23, 09:11 PM
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Re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

^ I was wondering about that too! Never noticed it before.
Old 07-17-23, 10:00 PM
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Re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

Big fan of Payne. Hope this ends up better than Downsizing, which had a lot of hype and turned out to be the one film of his that I didn't care for.

I actually met him at a U2 concert here in Omaha--I recognized his voice from listening to his DVD commentaries, looked over and there he was. I wasn't going to bother him but he literally ran right into my wife on our way in and she ended up saying something since she knew I was a fan (despite me telling her I wasn't going to bother him). He couldn't have been nicer and thanked us for saying hi.
Old 09-02-23, 02:40 PM
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Re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

Some reviews from Telluride: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_holdovers
Old 10-30-23, 08:39 PM
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Re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

This was great. Downsizing is solidly in the rear view with this one; Alexander Payne is back in form. And yes the lazy eye is for the film.

Just got out of its first screening in 35 mm in a theater that was used as a filming location. Some crew in attendance. Alexander Payne Q&A after.

Payne revealed he is conceiving a western with the writer next.



Last edited by bluetoast; 10-30-23 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 11-07-23, 05:45 PM
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Re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

The wide release is this weekend.
Old 11-10-23, 01:26 PM
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Re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

Saw it last night in an almost empty theater and loved it. Glad to see Payne still has it, and Giamatti was perfect for the role.
Old 11-11-23, 08:04 AM
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Re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

Really loved it. Such a great film from Hal Ashby... sorry ... Alexander Payne. On a technical level, it really felt like I was watching something from the 70s.
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Old 11-11-23, 10:10 AM
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Re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

He said that was his intent in the Q&A. Even the title card had a 70s Roman numeral on it. Mentioned that there was better color grading technology now to make it look the way he wanted.
Old 11-11-23, 03:09 PM
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Re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

An absolutely enjoyable movie. It has rich characters that takes time to warm up to, a vivid setting, a gentle tone. At the end of it, I just felt damn good.
I'm happy my matinee had a healthy-sized audience. There was lots of laughs, some poignant moments.
This is the kind of movie I enjoy best, where there isn't much of a plot, the point is to immerse the audience in a specific world.
I would recommend The Holdovers to everyone. It is an absolute delight.
I'm not really a fan of Alexander Payne. Although Election is one of my favorite movies, the only other thing he's done I like is Nebraska.
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Old 11-11-23, 06:58 PM
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Re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

Really looking forward to seeing this
Old 11-18-23, 03:56 PM
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Re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

I saw this today. Had to drive a town over to see it, as none of my local chain theaters were carrying it - it was worth the drive - a wonderful, well-acted film that is among the best I've seen in 2023. Hope it gets some award love.
Old 11-19-23, 08:30 PM
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Re: The Holdovers (2023, D: Payne) S: Giamatti

One of the local Regal Theaters is screening this.

Hoping to see it before it disappears from theaters.

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