Movie night

February 2024               

Join Us for Movie Night

“The Holdovers”

Dear MHC ’63 Classmates:

Following the very positive feedback from our class discussions of  “Nomadland”, “Minari”, “Passing”, and “Women Talking” since 2021, we are making plans for another Class of 1963 discussion in March this year of the movie “The Holdovers.”.

Everyone who is interested is encouraged to participate. We will have a chance to come together in this discussion with anyone in our class. 


The Holdovers is a 2023 American comedy-drama film directed by Alexander Payne, written by David Hemingson. Set in December 1970 and January 1971, the film stars Paul Giamatti as a strict classics teacher at a New England boarding school who is forced to chaperone a handful of students with nowhere to go on Christmas break. Da'Vine Joy Randolph and Dominic Sessa respectively play the school cafeteria manager and one of the students who stays on campus. (From Wikipedia)


These three actors are the center of the plot and their tentative approach about how they will survive the weeks at the lonely school setting is the focus of the movie.  Starting off distrustfully, even angrily, each character has a chance to experience exposure to each other in a new way. Each is given a chance to confront past conflict situations that marked who they are.


The story may seem simple and the presentation, set in the 1970’s, old fashioned, but there’s a much deeper drama going on. As the movie unfolds, each character changes in unexpected and satisfying ways.  Using both comedy and drama the plot shows how unfortunate and difficult life situations can be transformed into character changing results.


We should mention that the movie was filmed at a few different New England schools, which is especially evocative of our time in the same corner of the world. There’s one other connection to MHC. Many of us may remember that Bart Giamatti’s grandfather, Professor Valentine Giamatti, was the head of the Italian language department during our years there. 


The film can be streamed on the following sites and the rental fee seems to be $5.99 for most of them:

Prime Video



Google Play Movies &TV

Apple TV

You Tube

Also showing on Peacock with a subscription

Please watch “The Holdovers” and join our Zoom discussion on Tuesday, March 5th at 7:30 pm ET. We plan to end at 9:00 pm.  

If you are interested in being part of the discussion please email Mary Ann Searles Weiss as soon as possible.  Please respond by Monday, February 26th.  Before the end of that week the Zoom link will be emailed to everyone who has shown interest.  At that time, we will also send the details re the format of the discussion. 

Below are some materials related to the film, “The Holdovers.”:

‘The Holdovers’ Review: Three Sad Souls Stranded for Christmas”, by Wesley Morris, “The New York Times”, 10/26/23

“The Holdovers” Review – Alexander Payne and Paul Giamatti Reunite for a Charming Comedy, by Benjamin Lee, “The Guardian”, Sept 11, 2023

“Sadness and Triumph at a Massachusetts Boarding School” by David Sims, “The Atlantic”, 10/27/ 2023


 Several trailers and clips of “The Holdovers” are available online.


We look forward to another valuable discussion and another opportunity to continue our connections and to create new ones.  

Alice Andrus

Jenni DeWolf

Karel Koenig

Steph Smith

Mary Ann Weiss

Nancy Welker

Judy Widmann