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Charming, Moving, Tearjerker; The Holdovers (2023) | Film Review

The Holdovers is a 2023 American comedy-drama film directed by Alexander Payne and written by David Hemingson. Set in the winter of 1970, the film is a heart-warming story of relationships, growth and self discovery. Paul Giamatti has a specific acting style which thrived in the role of Paul Hunham, he was direct and aloof but utterly lovable and comedic. Dominic Sessa as Angus Tully was beautifully complimentary to Giamatti, the two had incredibly believable chemistry which lightened the film and warmed every scene they were in together; which is partially the whole film.

Writer David Hemingson revealed the film is partially semi-autobiographical, with some of the dialogue and scenes taken verbatim from his own life, such as words from his own real-life uncle. After I found this out I wasn’t surprised in the slightest, The Holdovers is the first film I’ve seen where it felt utterly realistic and every interaction was believable and immersive. Watching this film felt like a time capsule, transporting you back to a place when the world was different.

I felt this film with the biggest smile on my face, it was perfectly written and perfectly performed. Every aspect was charming, moving and hilarious, the delivery from every actor was above my expectations and I cherish this film a lot since watching. I highly recommend this movie, although marketed as a Christmas watch it should not be exclusive to the festive season; The Holdovers will delight you with its endearing plot, hilarious performances and utterly heartbreaking moments.


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Welcome to Film Probe, a platform where I have dedicated my time and energies to reviewing films, tv and more. I pride myself on offering more than just an opinion, but rather a carefully crafted insight into the film's themes, characters, and overall production.

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