Paul Giamatti crosses the Rubicon in Alexander Payne’s new heartfelt comedy

Paul Giamatti crosses the Rubicon in Alexander Payne’s new heartfelt comedy

Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers trailer brings us back to the 1970s for a heartfelt look at an unexpected friendship among near-strangers.

Some people enjoy spending holidays alone, but for others, it’s a painful reminder of having no one else to share the merriment and make new memories. In Alexander Payne‘s The Holdovers trailer, Paul Giamatti‘s Paul Hunham learns the value of opening his heart to a troubled student during a lonely Christmas break. The feature marks a welcomed return for Payne, whose previous directorial effort was for the social satire Downsizing starring Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, and Hong Chau.

Here is the official synopsis for The Holdovers, courtesy of Focus Features:

From acclaimed director Alexander Payne (Sideways, About Schmidt), The Holdovers follows a curmudgeonly instructor (Paul Giamatti) at a New England prep school who is forced to remain on campus during Christmas break to babysit the handful of students with nowhere to go. Eventually, he forms an unlikely bond with one of them — a damaged, brainy troublemaker (newcomer Dominic Sessa) — and with the school’s head cook, who has just lost a son in Vietnam (Da’Vine Joy Randolph).

Payne directs from a script by David Hemingson (Whiskey CavalierUncle BuckTraffic Light), with Mark Johnson, Heminson, and Bill Block producing. Andrew Golov, Thom Zadra, and Chris Stinson executive produce.

The Holdovers, Paul Giamatti, Focus Features

In Focus Features’ The Holdovers trailer, we find Giamatti’s Paul Hunham saddled with keeping watch over a group of students with nowhere to go during a holiday break. Exasperated by the circumstances, Hunham takes a rigid approach to controlling the teens during the experience. When the school’s cook, Mary (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), calls him on his pomposity, Hunham changes his approach to keeping watch over Angus (Sessa), a student with troubles that mirror Hunham’s own trials and tribulations. As the holiday continues, the trio form an unlikely bond as they process pain, grief, and abandonment.

Previously, Payne and Giamatti teamed up for 2004’s Sideways, a romantic drama about two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment. The duo then embark on a week-long road trip through California’s wine country just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle.

Focus Features will release The Holdovers in select New York and L.A. theaters on October 27, with a limited release on November 3 and a nationwide release on November 10, 2023.

What do you think about The Holdovers trailer? Is Paul Giamatti’s Paul Hunham about to learn an unexpected lesson? Let us know what you think in the comments below.