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Wednesday 28 February 10am, 2:30pm, 5pm, 7:30pm Director Alexander Payne Comedy, Drama USA English 133 minutes The Holdovers follows teacher Paul Hunham (Paul Giamatti) who nobody likes – not his students, not his fellow faculty, not the headmaster, who all find his pomposity and rigidity exasperating. With no family and nowhere to go over Christmas holiday in 1970, Paul remains at school to supervise students unable to journey home. After a few days, only one student remains – a trouble-making 15-year-old named Angus, a good student whose bad behaviour always threatens to get him expelled. Joining Paul and Angus is head cook Mary, an African American woman who caters to sons of privilege and whose own son was recently lost in Vietnam. These three very different shipwrecked people form an unlikely Christmas family sharing comic misadventures during two very snowy weeks in New England. In Payne’s work, one individual’s foibles and failings can open another’s perception; his humans lead not by example, but through their flaws. This is one of the director’s greatest films. – Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine Alexander Payne returns to the simplicity and the emotive in his new film, a story that aspires to become one of the best selections of the Christmas season. – Irene Crespo, Cinemania (Spain)