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The Pawprint | ENHS

The Pawprint | ENHS

The Pawprint | ENHS

“The Holdovers”: A Movie and Actors To Remember


I never expected to be tearing up over Cherries Jubilee, but here we are. 

Directed by David Payne, “The Holdovers” is a drama-comedy that takes place in the 1970s and follows Paul Hunham, a disgruntled boarding school teacher played by Paul Giamatti, who ends up being stuck babysitting Angus Tully, a troubled teen, played by Dominic Sessa, over winter break. They are both accompanied by the level-headed and grieving cook for the school, Mary Lamb, who is played by Da’Vine Joy Randolph. 

After his mother calls him saying she cannot pick him up from boarding school for their trip to Boston, Tully gets stuck being one of “the holdovers”. The holdovers are a group of kids who have nowhere to go over winter break. This year, Paul Hunham is the one overseeing these kids. 

To put it lightly, everybody hates Mr. Hunham, and he creates a tight regimen for the students. However, one of the students is able to get his dad to take them all skiing, and all they need is their parents’ permission. Tully cannot contact his mother as she is away on a trip with her new husband, leaving Tully alone with Hunham and Mary Lamb. The rest of the movie follows the mentor relationship between Tully and Hunham, and the sacrifices Hunham makes for Tully.

This year International Press Academy gave the Satellite Award for Best Comedy or Musical Film to “The Holdovers”. This movie perfectly balances its comedy and serious aspects. There are great laughs to be had, like when we find out Paul Hunham does not have a college degree and should not be teaching— and yet he is. 

The poignant moments also hit hard— such as when Angus goes to visit his father in a psychiatric ward against the wishes of his mother. This entire scene is heartbreaking as we watch Angus realize that his father isn’t necessarily happy that his son came to see him but just wants someone to get him out of the hospital. 

Actress Da’Vine Joy Randolph also won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. The way Randolph portrays the grief for her character’s deceased son is remarkable. The pain in her voice during the scene of her emotional breakdown is intensely sad. The character’s dialogue is incredibly realistic of someone who is facing the loss of a loved one.

Overall, I enjoyed this entire movie, but at times it could be a little slow, and I would find myself reaching for my phone. While it dragged on at times, the interesting plot, characters, and well-written dialogue kept me engaged. If you are looking for a heart-warming and emotional film, “The Holdovers” perfectly holds these two aspects for you. 

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About the Contributor
Tegan Singleton
Tegan Singleton, Staff Writer
Tegan Singleton is a Junior at Edmond North. She has interests in visual arts including sculpture, drawing, and painting. As well as competing in visual art competitions. She hopes to major in anthropology in college.

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