THE HOLDOVERS MOVIE REVIEW
Director Alexander Payne helms The Holdovers, set in the 70s at a snowy New England prep school during winter break. Paul (Paul Giamatti) is the teacher stuck with the job this season of watching over those poor students who don’t have a place to go over break and have to stay at the school. He’s not happy about it and neither are the students, as Paul is widely disliked and for good reason. He’s an intellectual snob who seems to take great pleasure in making others around him miserable with the one exception of the head chef at the school (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) who he feels a tenderness for since her son died in Vietnam recently. Eventually one rich kid’s parents give the rest of the kids the opportunity to go spend the the break on the slopes having fun, but one troubled youth, Angus (Dominic Sessa), can’t go. Slowly, a connection begins to form between the three ‘holdovers’ and some degree of healing ensues. Yes, it sounds like many other films you’ve seen before. However, Payne’s sensitive but funny handling of the material and the fantastic performances elevate it above most of the similar fare. Chris, Wright, Mike, and Nathan discuss The Holdovers here and how a film can be both excellent and not exactly anything new at the same time.
DIRECTED BY: Alexander Payne
STARRING: Paul Giamatti, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Dominic Sessa, Carrie Preston, Gillian Vigman, Tate Donovan
Christopher Lawrence Cox (Founder, Da Boss)
Born in the wilds of northern Virginia, Chris managed to put all of his survival skills to use and barely escaped with his life to Austin Texas in 1992 where ever since he’s dabbled in everything from plumber’s assistant to sandwich maker, from band to bar management. An opportunity to see theatrical release films for free by becoming a critic on a local public access show called “The Reel Deal” turned into a full-time job when Chris and his friends decided to take it to the internet. They built the site Spill.com, adding multiple podcasts and animated features, to no small amount of success. During this time, a fortuitous friendship sprung up between Chris and young Brian Salisbury, who was also a local film critic, and they merged their forces of will, and their laundry list of ideas for shows, to eventually build this community of critics. While Brian eventually followed his heart to a new family, Chris continues on with a cast of colorful folks from all over the country (and a few others). You can also check out Chris in his videocast, along with Martin Thomas and Danni Danger, that One Of Us does with our friends at Bell of Lost Souls: Crossover Event. He also regularly guests on the video game website Rage Select. Follow Chris on Twitter and Facebook and check out his Amazon Wish List.
Frank Calvillo (Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad)
Born and raised in South Texas, Frank currently lives in Austin and has been in love with movies ever since his father showed him some Three Stooges shorts when he was five years old. Today he loves all kinds of film, regardless of era, country, budget or genre. He believes every film has an audience and is at least one person’s favorite movie. After writing for Sight & Sound and Slackerwood, he now writes for Cinapse where his increasingly random taste in all flavors of cinema (from Rashomon to Mars Attacks!) continues to thrive. His ultimate goal is to write a script for his boyhood crush, Michelle Pfeiffer.
Nathan Flynn (Screener Squad)
A recent transplant to Austin originally hailing from the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is the Midwest, Nathan Flynn has been a movie super freak since he saw “An American Werewolf in London” way too young and grew up worshipping the James Bond franchise and all things related to Cold War-era spycraft. When he’s not watching movies and being a constant defender of the Tron franchise, he can be found practicing his second biggest love: cooking (having been a chef for 10+ years) and hitting his head up against a desk to write screenplays that nobody reads. He also spearheads his own podcast on the Mission Impossible franchise titled “Mission: Impodible”. He can be found rarely posting on his personal twitter.
Mike J. McAllister (Screener Squad, Staff Writer, Head Video Editor)
Mike J. McAllister is a filmmaker, editor, writer and animator. He is also a film junkie, dog lover and Surge-aholic (Hi, Mike). He grew up in a small town in Western Pennsylvania, where he earned the reputation as the “human IMDb” and was on a first-name basis with every video store clerk in town. He later studied film in Pittsburgh. He has since written several unproduced screenplays and TV pilots. He has also produced a number of short films, some of which have appeared in festivals across the country. He is a ninja with Final Cut Pro and is armed with a mind full of mostly useless pop-culture trivia. He also enjoys animation, MST3K, classic video games and being the “music geek” among his friends (which really just means he buys vinyl and listens to music that doesn’t come from an anime soundtrack). He resides in Austin, Texas, and can be followed on the Instamagrams at @ohheyitsmikejm.
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