Here’s a movie Focus Features is excited about for next awards season, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see it world premiering at a big film festival some time this year: Alexander Payne’s New England prep school comedy The Holdovers. The Universal label just dated the pic for November 10 with a wider break on Wednesday, November 22 ahead of Thanksgiving.
Deadline first told you about the movie, which stars Payne’s Sideways star Paul Giamatti, when its global rights were scooped up by Focus at the Toronto Film Festival for $30 million.
The David Hemingson-scripted, Payne-directed title follows a curmudgeonly instructor (Giamatti) at an elite New England prep school who is forced to remain on campus during Christmas break to babysit the handful of students with nowhere to go. Eventually he forms an unlikely bond with one of them — a damaged, brainy troublemaker (newcomer Dominic Sessa) — and with the school’s head cook (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), who has just lost a son in Vietnam. The movie was shot at the Deerfield Academy private school in Deerfield, MA.
Holdovers was produced by Mark Johnson, Bill Block and Hemingson. Chris Stinson, Tom Williams, Andrew Golov and Thom Zadra served as EPs. Focus is releasing the movie stateside with Universal Pictures International handling overseas distribution.
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