The Holdovers

The Holdovers (2023)

I had been hearing a lot about this movie over the past month, and, God, I wished I had watched it at Christmas, bundled up in a blanket with a hot chocolate. The Holdovers bring to mind multiple films, such as The Dead Poets Society, Miss Stevens, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. However, although it shares similarities, certain elements stand out and shine, captivating me with every word.⠀

It’s not a feel-good movie, yet it exudes a warmth like a comforting hug. It captures a soothing comfortableness, and the ending bids a sweet goodbye. I’m certain it’ll make it to my Christmas list next year.⠀

Let’s talk about the sweet comedy moments in this film—they are perfect. As a classics student, this film was an absolute HOOT! The “Icarus” reference was spot-on. The acting was authentic and three-dimensional, making the humour feel natural. With the assistance of an extremely strong scriptwriter, it rises above similar films. The teacher, in particular, is a character with many layers, and his wit takes the movie to another level. It contrasts perfectly with the film’s darkness, shedding light on the truth and heart of this emerging small family, even making characters like Angus Tully more bearable.⠀

Moving on to the character building, it’s just perfect. Little moments and nuances reveal a lot about these characters and their behaviours. The film is undoubtedly sad, bringing teary eyes at multiple moments, especially during the short yet powerful scenes by Da’Vine Joy Randolph. However, these tragedies seamlessly fit into their collective journey of overcoming battles and learning from one another.

By the film’s end, it feels like they have completed their quest together. The reference to ancient history adds a beautiful touch—they are all on quests, overcoming battles, and most importantly, learning from one another to move onto a new chapter of their lives, like Philosophers and their students. The handshake before Hunhum and Tully part ways is the perfect farewell as they venture into their new lives.⠀

Overall, this is a powerful film that everyone needs to watch at least once in their lives. The themes they highlight and the characters you meet highlight the journey many people face in their lives. They capture it so authentically. What’s so unique about this film is its attention to detail.⠀

What did you think of the Holdovers? Did you have any teachers that changed your perspective on life?




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