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Paul Giamatti's The Holdovers - 5 reasons to not miss out on the Oscars 2024 Best Picture-contender

Having bagged two Golden Globes already, The Holdovers is the best film contender at the 2024 Oscars and BAFTA. Here are five reasons to not miss out on the critically acclaimed film. 

Paul Giamatti's The Holdovers - 5 reasons to not miss out on the Oscars 2024 Best Picture-contender
A still from the trailer of The Holdovers

Last Updated: 03.20 PM, Feb 13, 2024


The Holdovers, directed by Alexander Payne, is releasing February 16, 2024, in India, right in time for the Valentines weekend crowd. Other popular Hollywood films releasing that weekend are Land of Bad, No Way Up, and This Is Me...Now. The Holdovers premiered at the 50th Telluride Film Festival and received positive reviews from critics.  

With 2 Golden Globes already in its bag, while fighting in five categories in the Oscars 2024, and seven nominations in BAFTA 2024, both including the nod for Best Picture and Best Film respectively. Enough about the critics, here are five reasons to not miss the film in the theatres. 

The Holdovers features an exceptional cast

The Holdovers bagged two Golden Globes this year in Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for Paul Giamatti and Best Supporting Actress for Da’Vine Joy Randolph. Not only their performances as repressed individuals fighting their respective battles is exceptional, but the nuanced evocation of Paul, the authoritarian pedagogue, and Mary, the silently-grieving mother and head cook is indeed commendable. Student Angus, essayed by Dominic Sessa, is also a well-rounded and relatable character, well-executed by the young actor. 


The film has a bittersweet and heartwarming premise

The Holdovers has a bittersweet and heartwarming premise, ranging from its nostalgic 1970s setting in a New England boarding school to the sorrows silently endured by all the characters, be it student or faculty, especially in the fast-approaching season of festivities. The film is based during the Vietnam War and has a character suffering from the grief of a lost son, another, who has lost his career due to his headstrong honesty, while a student simply yearns for a sense of love and normalcy in his family life. The boarding school setting is just the cherry on the top for Enid Blyton lovers as well. 

The Holdovers comforts those in the shadow of Christmas

The Holdovers is a term used to refer to the students who have nowehere to go, or are forced to stay at school for the holidays due to certain family problems. The film based on Professor Paul Hunham supervising a group of students who have nowhere to go for Christmas, which eventually boils down to one unfortunate soul, Angus, who truly had nowhere to go. As for Mary, what sense does Christmas make when her son is dead. The film is a comforting cup of hot chocolate for all those who live in the shadow of the too-bright festivities of Christmas, suffering from private grief and sorrows. 

The film is a nuanced exploration of the shades of grief

The Holdovers explores the shades of grief that affect the lives of individuals in a very off-hand, yet sensitive manner, appealing to the audience without being preachy, thanks to its comedy premise. From exploring the complicated relationship with one’s estranged ill parent, to the soul-crushing agony of a lost love one, to a dying career that is sustained by strict marking and the occasional regret, the film has it all. 

The Holdovers goes back to touch base with the old teacher-student bond

The film is sure to make all adult viewers reminisce their school days fondly, irrespective of whether they were good or bad. The Holdovers is a beautiful and realistic voyage of the touching and academically personal bond that develops between teachers and students. Being set in the ‘70s, the modern day taint of teacher-student bond has not entered the film, letting The Holdovers thrive and breathe, allowing the viewers to do so too.