Focus Features is distributing the latest film from the “Election” director, starring Paul Giamatti and Da’Vine Joy Randolph.
Alexander Payne’s latest film will hit theaters this fall. “The Holdovers,” a new comedy from the director of “Election” and “Descendants,” will be released in limited release on Nov. 10, Focus Features announced Thursday. Two weeks later, the film opens in wide release on November 22, just before Thanksgiving.
Payne’s eighth directorial effort, “The Holdovers” stars Paul Giamatti, “Dolemite Is My Name” breakout Da’Vine Joy Randolph and newcomer Dominic Sessa. According to the logline, the film is a period piece set in the midst of the Vietnam War and centers on a troubled New England prep school teacher, Paul Hunham (Giamatti), who is forced to stay on campus during Christmas break to look after a handful of students. stays at school during the holidays. Initially distraught by the assignment, Paul forms an unexpected bond with rebellious but brilliant student Angus (Sessa) and Mary (Randolph), the school’s head cook, who recently lost her son in Vietnam.
“The Holdovers” is directed by Payne from a script by David Hemingson, who previously worked on TV shows such as “Whiskey Cavalier,” “Black-ish,” “Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23” and “American Dan.” Hemingson is also producing the film with Mark Johnson and Bill Block, while Chris Stinson, Tom Williams, Andrew Golov and Thom Zadra serve as executive producers. Focus Features is handling the film’s US distribution, while Universal Pictures International will present the film internationally.
The film will be Payne’s first in six years after his 2017 film Downsizing, starring Matt Damon and Hong Chau, bombed at the box office and received mixed reviews from critics. The director made his directorial debut in 1996 with “Citizen Ruth,” a satire on the abortion debate starring Laura Dern. Other credits include “Election” starring Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick, “About Schmidt,” “Sideways,” “The Descendants” and “Nebraska.” He has received seven career Academy Award nominations, including three for best director and three for adapted screenplay, as well as screenplay trophies for “Sideways” and “The Descendants.”
Other Focus Features films slated for release later this year include “Champions,” “Inside” and “A Thousand and One” this March; “Polite Society” and “Book Club: The Next Chapter” later in the spring; Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City” in the summer; and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” in September.
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