One of the most renowned film directors in contemporary American cinema, a beloved friend of the Festival and a Greek audience favorite, two-times Academy Award winner director and screenwriter of Greek origins, Alexander Payne, will attend the 64th Thessaloniki International Film Festival (2-12/11/2023) to present his new film The Holdovers, which has been screened at major international festivals, receiving outstanding reviews.
The acclaimed filmmaker will be present in Thessaloniki to unveil his new film starring Paul Giamatti, Da'Vine Joy Randolph and Dominic Sessa and written by David Hemingson. The film, an inner journey of self-awareness, takes place in a prestigious New England prep school, during the Christmas holidays, in the 1970s. A grumpy teacher is forced to spend the holidays in the campus, assigned with the task of keeping an eye to the few students who will spend the holidays all alone, away from their families. In this isolated scenery, where the cold and snow cast a shroud over everything, the teacher will develop a special bond with a troublemaking yet brainy student, who comes from a shaky family environment, and the school’s head cook, who mourns over the loss of her son in the Vietnam war. The three seemingly incompatible characters, each one burdened by deep wounds, will reach out to one another.
Drawing stylistic and aesthetic elements from the American cinema of the 70s, Alexander Payne unfolds a story of personal reconciliation and togetherness, masterfully balancing between drama and comedy, reminding us that human contact and redemption may bear fruit even in the most barren ground, in the least probable moments in life.
* The Holdovers is coming soon to cinemas. In Greece it will be distributed by Tanweer, on January 25, 2024.