A beautiful film set in the 1970s that portrays the importance of celebrating the holidays with family, and overcoming personal issues while trying to find some warmth and comfort with the people around. The movie begins with the introduction of the characters, some boys in a prep school excited to go away to their families for Christmas break. Every year there are kids that cannot leave for many reasons, some are exchange students and their families are in a completely different continent, some others do not get permission to leave because their parents did not want them to, and so on.
Consequently, there is always a professor in charge to babysit the students that stay in school. Although, in this particular occasion a bitter and incorruptible professor ‘Paul Hunham’ (Paul Giamatti) is asked to, as he is being punished for failing a student. He ends up in charge of five students, however, he unexpectedly forms a bond with one of them ‘Angus Tully’ a damaged troublemaker with nowhere to go. It is mentioned in the film that he was expelled from other schools due to his unbearable and reckless behavior. The two of them along with the school’s head cook ‘Mary’, who recently lost a son in Vietnam had a wonderful break, as the other students left to go ski.
The relationship with the three of them grew every day they spent together, they were there for each other, and for the first time in their lives they felt like they could rely on someone after fighting their battles on their own. That is what made the whole movie feel so special, like a warm hug from a person you love and admire. Well-acted, written and directed. I loved it, definitely my favorite film from 2023.
I highly recommend people to watch it, even now that the holidays are through.