This Was The Unlikely '80s Flick That Inspired Oscar-Nominated Film The Holdovers

Producer David Hemingson revealed all on the Hollywood Gold podcast.
Focus Features
Focus Features
Focus Features studios

Oscar-nominated film The Holdovers starring Paul Giamatti and Dominic Sessa is a drama film that, according to the Motion Pictures Association “delves into themes of depression, loneliness, loss, and regret.”

The Guardian described it as: “a masterclass in melancholy” and The Independent said that the film was: “a warm, sentimental comedy made for life’s curmudgeons.”

It may come as a surprise, then, that the film wasn’t inspired by similarly melancholic films but instead by a classic ’80s action flick.

The film that inspired The Holdovers

Speaking to the Hollywood Gold podcast, producer David Hemingson said that the film was inspired by, of all things, Die Hard!

Interestingly, both films are perhaps unlikely Christmas films but the thing that ties the two is actually the emotion in them both.

Yes, really.

In the podcast, David discussed trying to not commit the “cardinal sin” of being boring in film and creating the perfect blend of emotion and action with a sprinkling of keeping the stakes high.

David said: “I was thinking, how can I make this an action movie but an emotional action movie?”. He added: “you gotta keep it interesting, keep the stakes high. As emotional as you can get with the characters, but credibly, and drag it out of them.”

He went on to say that in real life, many of us aren’t willing to offer up our pain, our fears, our emotions freely but in a time of crisis, it’s more likely. To keep the story authentic and the characters realistic, the crises they faced throughout the film were what spurred on the emotional outpours.

He quoted legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick saying: “it’s always the feel of it, never the think of it.”

Once they’d nailed this balance, the producers and writers took around 18 months to make the celebrated film.

The Holdovers is in selected cinemas now.


What's Hot