…and is more or less ready to be shown commercially, what would your reaction be if you were a distributor in a position to purchase distribution rights?

I can tell you what my reaction would be. My reaction would be “this is such a good film that we need to not release it for another 15 or 16 months, just to be on the safe side….we need to put it on ice and let things just cool off and simmer down. Let’s not go into this situation half-cocked.”

I’m kidding. That wouldn’t have been my reaction. That was Focus Features’ reaction when they bought Alexander Payne‘s The Holdovers.

A guy (or guys) who saw The Holdovers last Sunday (i.e., five days ago) in Toronto shared reactions with TheWrap‘s Brian Welk

Reaction #1: “Outside a screening of Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers at the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto on Sunday, one attendee left feeling that he had seen the best movie playing at the festival, even though it wasn’t an official selection of TIFF, and almost no one knew the screening was happening.”

Reaction #2: “[An] individual close to the project described it as touching, funny and very emotional, blending comedy and drama in the way that Sideways or Payne’s other films have managed with ease. Not only does The Holdovers reunite Payne with his Sideways star Paul Giamatti, the film fits snugly into Payne’s larger repertoire, moving away from the high-concept social satire Downsizing and instead evoking Payne’s humanism and the frustrations about ‘life being bewildering.'”