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The Wayne Stater

The student news site of Wayne State College

The Wayne Stater

The student news site of Wayne State College

The Wayne Stater

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Best Overheard of the Week (01/19/2022)

  • I'll be like my sister and catfish people on Farmersonly.com. She's a menace. (Upper Caf) (56%, 5 Votes)
  • It was like a wall of cheese smell. I couldn't even go in. (Humanities) (22%, 2 Votes)
  • Me being an introvert, I like to recharge my batteries. (Lower Caf) (11%, 1 Votes)
  • Dude, you guys were all over each other and I wanted to gag. (Lower Caf) (11%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 9

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“The Holdovers” deserves all five of its Oscar nominations

“The Holdovers” was released in the U.S. on Oct. 27, 2023, and was directed by Alexander Payne. It’s an R-rated comedy drama film with a runtime of 133 minutes. 

The film takes place in the early 1970s at Barton Academy, a boarding school in New England. Paul Giamatti plays Paul Hunham, a strict professor who is hated by most students and faculty members. He is required to stay at Barton during winter break to supervise a group of students who couldn’t make it home.  

Before long, only one “holdover” remains, Angus Tully. Dominic Sessa plays the smart but troubled teenager in his feature debut. Also on campus during the break is Barton’s Head Cook Mary Lamb, played by Da’Vine Joy Randolph. Mary is staying behind to grieve the recent loss of her son in the Vietnam War.  

The trio are very different people, each at distinct stages in their lives. Hunham has accepted his fate as the cranky professor, Angus’ troubled past leaves him pessimistic about his future and Mary is having difficulty dealing with the tragic loss of her son. They butt heads frequently at first, all stuck in their ways. As the long break continues, however, they begin to understand each other’s struggles through their conversations and shared experiences. Eventually, the trio form deep bonds and realize they can have a positive impact on each other’s lives.  

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The plot is somewhat predictable with a clichéd premise, but it’s the actor performance and character-driven screenplay that make this movie special.  

Paul Giamatti and Dominic Sessa shine in their roles as Hunham and Angus respectively. Da’Vine Joy Randolph also excels as Mary Lamb, but no matter how good the actors are, the audience wouldn’t be able to connect to their characters without the fantastic screenplay behind the film.  

Writer and producer David Hemingson’s sharp dialogue allows the actors to flawlessly bounce lines off each other. Hemingson also manages to combine truly funny moments with more emotional scenes. The acting and screenplay complemented each other so well in fact, that Giamatti, Randolph and Hemingson are all nominated for Oscars. Giamatti is nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Randolph for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Hemingson for Best Original Screenplay. 

Although his role was not recognized by the academy, Sessa has been nominated for and has won many other awards. It’s hard to imagine that “The Holdovers” is his feature debut, but this performance will surely help his career take off. 

The cinematography and editing also stand out. Both elements add to the immersive experience, making the viewer feel as if they are also stuck at school over the snowy holiday break in the ‘70s. The cinematography especially stands out when the characters are alone in the many small, cramped spaces at Barton.  

During these moments, the viewer can empathize and understand how much the characters are struggling. Oftentimes, there’s no dialogue during these scenes, allowing the characters to tell a story using only body language.  

The film is well paced and the 133-minute runtime flies by, leaving the audience wanting to spend more time with the characters after the credits roll. This was also recognized by the academy, as editor Kevin Tent is nominated for an Oscar in Film Editing. 

Director Alexander Payne brought together all these elements to create one of the best films of 2023. Its final Oscar nomination is the most important one: Best Picture. Not only is it a great film, but “The Holdovers” is an instant holiday classic that will be rewatchable for years to come. 

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Ty Sterling, Staff Writer

Ty Sterling is a sophomore at Wayne State from Gretna, Nebraska. He is studying journalism/mass communications. Ty enjoys spending time with friends, sports, and consuming many types of media such as movies and video games.

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