Paul Giamatti Reunites With Sideways Director Alexander Payne

I (mostly) enjoy the work of Alexander Payne, the filmmaker responsible for “Election,” “About Schmidt,” “Sideways,” and more. His films do a good job of capturing lonely people who get into increasingly comical situations, learning something about themselves (and their loneliness) along the way. “The Holdovers” looks like it will be very much in line with several of Payne’s other works, and if you like what he does, that’ll be good news.

“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).”

Paul “John Adams” Giamatti was born to play “a curmudgeonly instructor,” so I imagine he’ll knock this out of the park. Some of what’s happening in this trailer looks a tad predictable, but I have a feeling that the trailer is just cut that way to appeal to a wider audience, and the film itself won’t be so on the nose. Unless it is! We’ll see. Look for “The Holdovers” in select theaters on October 27, 2023, and everywhere else on November 10, 2023. 

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