The Holdovers, directed by Alexander Payne and written by David Hemingson, brings Giamatti to the top of the acting mountain and he is my number won for best actor (already).
Two other actors in the film also deserve accolades; Dominic Sessa as the neglected emo, does a yeoman’s job not to overact and Da’Vine Randolph who hits the perfect arc as a grieving mother. I’ve liked Da’Vine for awhile, mentioning her in The Last Shift blog of mine, in a very very fine film that shook me the core.
Eigil Byrd’s cinematography makes the private school more desolate, gray and cold than any winter could be and the austere interiors look just as fantastic.
The soundtrack offers the hope filled soundtrack of the early 70’s including the Temptations and Tony Orlando and Dawn (just to name a few).
I think in the Payne filmography, The Holdovers is an easy number one over The Descendants, but we shall see if the Academy agrees. This is THE holiday film to see.