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Oscars 2024 – The Holdovers accused of plagiarism a day before the big night; here’s everything about the row

The Holdovers has made a massive buzz throughout the awards season and has 5 nominations at the Oscars 2024. 

Oscars 2024 – The Holdovers accused of plagiarism a day before the big night; here’s everything about the row
The Holdovers Accused Of Plagiarism

Last Updated: 12.40 PM, Mar 10, 2024


The Oscars 2024 is less than a day away, and we're all supremely excited to see what the big night has in store for us. The Academy Awards have been making massive buzz for a while now. The top contenders at the big night have even found a newly acquired audience who are curious to know what makes them worthy of multiple nominations. But it looks like just when everything was about the celebration of cinema and people were excited to hop on the Hollywood bus to get into the Dolby Theatre, a roadblock knocked on the gates of one of the top contenders. The Holdovers has been accused of plagiarism a day before the Oscars.

What Exactly Happened?

Paul Giamatti led The Holdovers and has been in the news throughout the awards season where it emerged as a sleeper hit as the movie took home honors in many categories. Now, as it stands a day away from walking the Oscars red carpet, the film has been accused of plagiarism by Simon Stephenson. For those not familiar with the name, Stephenson is the writer responsible for the much-loved Luca, the Pixar movie that was released in 2021. The writer has accused The Holdovers makers of plagiarizing his Black List script titled Frisco.


Acquired by Variety, in a series of emails from February, Simon Stephenson raised concerns with the Writers Guild Of America, stating that the makers of The Holdovers have copied the meaningful entirety of his unmade dramedy. He accused them of copying scenes, dialogues, structure, and characters from his Frisco script. One of the many email exchanges read, “I can demonstrate beyond any possible doubt that the meaningful entirety of the screenplay for a film with WGA-sanctioned credits that is currently on track to win a screenwriting Oscar has been plagiarized line-by-line from a popular unproduced screenplay of mine.”

He added, “I can also show that the director of the offending film was sent and read my screenplay on two separate occasions prior to the offending film entering development. By ‘meaningful entirety’ I do mean literally everything — story, characters, structure, scenes, dialogue, the whole thing. Some of it is just insanely brazen: many of the most important scenes are effectively unaltered and even remain visibly identical in layout on the page.”

The makers of Holdovers, director Alexander Payne and David Hemingson are yet to give a reaction to these accusations in public, but these are pretty serious claims, and silence from the side of the accused will not be considered a good thing.

About The Holdovers

The Holdovers is about a teacher who, in the New England of the ‘70s, is left on the campus of an only boys' hostel during the Christmas break to look after boys who have not gone back home. The story is about bonds and how they are formed and has been praised by many across the world, making it one of the most favorite contenders of the awards season. It stars Paul Giamatti in the lead alongside Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and Dominic Sessa in leading roles.

The Holdovers At The Awards Season

Starting with the Oscars, The Holdovers has made a decent dent at the big night with five nominations in various categories. They include Best Picture, Best Actor for Giamatti, Best Supporting Actress for Randolph, and Best Original Screenplay for David Hemingson.

Over the past two months, the movie has won three Critic’s Choice Awards including Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Young Performer. 2 Golden Globes for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Also, 2 BAFTAs for Best Supporting Actor and Best Casting. So now all the eyes are on the Oscars 2024 to see what the movie manages to win.

For more Oscars 2024 coverage and everything else from the world of streaming and films, stay tuned to OTTplay.

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