09 20 Oct '24
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Alexander Payne

Winter Break (The Holdovers)

133' - 2023 - Drama, Comedy - Dialogue: English
Director: Alexander Payne Composer: Mark Orton With: Paul Giamatti, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Dominic Sessa
Seven years after the remarkable sci-fi film Downsizing, director Alexander Payne is back with what he does best: a look at human relationships, their imperfections, but also those special, scintillating moments.
History teacher Paul has to act as a holdover during the Christmas holidays. That's the unlucky teacher who has to stay at school during the holidays to look after students who cannot go home. Paul has his hands full with Angus, a rebellious adolescent who has been told at the last minute by his mother and her new lover that they will not be spending Christmas together. Paul and Angus spend time with Mary, the school's cook, for whom it is the first Christmas - it's 1970 - without her son who was killed in Vietnam. The Holdovers is Alexander Payne's (Sideways, Nebraska) first film set in the past. Not only the decors breathes the atmosphere of the seventies, The Holdovers also technically looks like a film of that era, including signature zooms and image filters. Despite the dark humour, this is Payne's warmest film. A Christmas classic in the making.
"Set in 1970, it is Payne's first period film. He has made some contemporary classics, no doubt, but the warm humanity of a trio of people left alone at Christmas in a snowy boarding school ranks right up there with his very best. It is funny, sad, witty, poignant, filled with snark and heart and great acting." - Deadline

Image gallery

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Alexander Payne


Mark Orton


Paul Giamatti, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Dominic Sessa


David Hemingson

Director of Photography

Eigil Bryld


Kevin Tent


Bill Block, David Hemingson, Mark Johnson

Production studios



Sony Pictures Releasing Films

More information



Countries of production

United States of America




Alexander Payne
Carmen (short, 1985), The Passion of Martin (1991), Citizen Ruth (1996), Election (1999), About Schmidt (2002), Sideways (2004), Paris, je t'aime (2006), The Descendants (2011), Nebraska (2013), Downsizing (2017), The Holdovers (2023)

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