In a momentous reveal on Tuesday morning, “The Holdovers,” a film that includes a pivotal scene shot on Worcester Common, emerged as a prominent contender for this year’s Oscars.
Diverse Nominations and Accomplished Cast
“The Holdovers” received nominations across various categories, highlighting the film’s exceptional talent. Among the nominees are Paul Giamatti for Best Actor, Da’Vine Joy Randolph for Best Supporting Actress, David Hemingson for Best Original Script, and a nomination for Best Film.
Giamatti has 2 Academy Award nominations; the first came in 2005 for “Cinderella Man”‘s Best Supporting Actor. In the movie “The Holdovers,” which takes place over the Christmas break in 1970s New England, Giamatti plays Paul Hunham, a controversial ancient history teacher at the all-boys prep school Barton Academy.
Randolph, playing the role of Mary Lamb, the grieving head cook at the school, secured her first Academy Award nomination. The character grapples with the loss of her son in Vietnam, adding depth to the film’s narrative.
Hemingson, a New Haven, Connecticut, native, also celebrates his debut Oscar nomination, contributing to the film’s success with his compelling original script.
Worcester’s Significance in Filming
While the majority of the film was shot on the St. Mark’s School campus in Southborough during the spring of 2022, Worcester played a crucial role in a key sequence. Filmed on February 26, 2022, this sequence was initially planned for Boston. However, director Alexander Payne, in an interview with T&G, expressed his belief that Worcester offered unique advantages, leading to the change in location.
Awards Season Recognition
Giamatti and Randolph’s outstanding performances have already been acknowledged, with Giamatti securing the lead comic actor trophy at the 81st annual Golden Globes. Randolph received the Best Supporting Actress trophy, further solidifying her position as a frontrunner for the upcoming Oscars.
“The Holdovers” Journey to the Oscars
“The Holdovers,” directed by Alexander Payne, delves into the nuanced relationships within an all-boys institution in the 1970s. The film, characterized by a character-driven narrative, features a tight-knit ensemble cast comprising a curmudgeonly teacher, a grieving cook, a troubled adolescent, and an amiable janitor.
As the Oscar nominations include Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Film Editing, the film’s compelling storytelling, coupled with a nostalgic soundtrack featuring Cat Stevens and the Allman Brothers Band, positions it as a noteworthy contender for Oscar gold.
David Hemingson, reflecting on the nominations, anticipates a renaissance of humanist films, marking a significant highlight of this Oscar season. The emotional depth and character exploration in “The Holdovers” are poised to captivate audiences and industry insiders alike.