I honestly did not expect to enjoy this movie as much as I did, or even be as emotional about it as I was. I watched this heartwarming and heartwrenching movie with my Mum, and we both felt deeply about it.
There were multiple scenes where I was on the verge of tears, and perhaps the only reason why I didn’t actually break out in tears, was to still possess the capacity to continue witnessing what would happen next.
It has specific themes around grief & bereavement, mental health challenges, parental resentment, trauma, abandonment, disappointment in life, romantic failure, and psychosocial disability.
I’ve loved Paul Giamatti as an actor since Big Fat Liar, and this movie had my Mum and I laughing out loud, reminiscent of the archetype he tends to play in various movie roles. We decided to watch The Holdovers pretty much because of him.
His character arc in this film is a beautiful, warm-hearted one – an expected, but still resonant one.
This movie shows the underlying complexity of life and condition of being human – that ultimately and profoundly, we as people are complicated, and enigmatic. We cannot be truly read or understood in one appearance or meeting, or even several.
There are multiple and intriguing layers of humanness in every one of us, and we are all worth getting to really know.
When you google the film; Paul Hunham, played by Paul Giamatti is described as ‘’curmudgeonly’’. But he is much more than what he appears to be at initial and understandable glance.
His dynamic with Dominic Sessa’s character is a deepening, marvellously insightful and humorous one.
Newcomer and promising actor, Dominic Sessa was fully believable and also wholly deserved winning the Critic’s Choice Award. His performance was powerful to say the least.
Their mutual growth is indicative of two human beings who memorably misinterpret one another, and even have a hatred towards each other…. yet grow from their eventual reciprocal transformation.
Carrie Preston who played Lydia, another teacher, was an effervescent addition to the cast, and she lit up the screen with her genuine light.
Da’Vine Joy Randolph’s performance was so heartbreaking and raw, and I also believe truly deserved to win Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes. Every time she was on screen, I felt her character’s pain. Much, much more can be said about this, but I’ll leave it at that.
I still feel like I need a good proper cry focused on and after watching this subtly life-changing and poignant movie.