“The Holdovers”

 “The Holdovers”

By Lucas Battista

Streaming on Peacock, starring Paul Giamatti, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Dominic Sessa and Carrie Preston.

“The Holdovers,” despite dripping with schmaltz, cliches, a plot that suspiciously mirrors “Scent of a Woman,” and digitally faked film reminiscent of “Mank,” excels at what it sets out to do. The movie thrives on caustic, witty dialogue and an explosively chemical trio, with Dominic Sessa as Angus Tully, a duplicitous and free-spirited upper-classman, Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Mary Lamb, a grief-stricken mother having lost her son in Vietnam, and Paul Giamatti as Paul Hunham, an erudite professor whose emotional constipation truly rivals that of Anthony Hopkins in “Remains of the Day.” Their performances are astounding, and at its core drives home the movie, giving it an almost innocent and carefree feeling that exonerates it of any mistakes.

Besides that, the camera work isn’t particularly impressive, the period soundtrack is fine, and plot points are often pulled like a rabbit out of a hat with mechanical tact. Nonetheless, I’d highly recommend “The Holdovers”- it’s free of a dull moment.


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