Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers is an absolute home run — a TRULY GREAT ‘70s film, as well as a triple grade-A 2023 drama…bull’s eye!

Brilliant, I mean. A bliss-out. Warm and compassionate and at times even staggering. Wise, bittersweet, sad, fully recognizable, funny as shit, humane…layer by layer, it’s wonderfully written.

A Best Picture shoo-in; ditto Payne for Best Director and David Hemingson for Best Screenplay. A Best Actor lock for Paul Giamatti; ditto Da’Vine Joy Randolph for Best Supporting Actress.

I knew The Holdovers would be aces within the first five minutes. The attention to period detail and hair styles (it’s mostly set in December 1970) and the overall particularity…I just knew. I was in heaven soon after, and the film never stumbled or slumped or went off the road.

The Holdovers broke 25 or 30 minutes ago. The next film, Fingernails, starts in five minutes. All I know is that I’m incredibly happy as I write this.

Payne and Giamatti triumphed 19 years ago with Sideways; now they’re back in the winner’s circle and then some.

By the way: IndieWire‘s David Ehrlich is up to his old tricks…I know utter derangement when I see it.