From acclaimed director Alexander Payne (‘Sideways’), we follow the cynical, curmudgeonly classics instructor (Paul Giamatti in a Golden Globe-winning performance) at a Massachusetts prep school who is forced to supervise the unfortunate boys unable to return home for the two-week holiday break.
Eventually he forms an unlikely bond with one of them - a damaged, brainy troublemaker (Dominic Sessa) - and with the school's head cook, who has just lost a son in Vietnam (Da'Vine Joy Randolph). The snowy cinematography and nostalgic 1970s production design are outstanding. This is one of Payne’s best films - very funny, occasionally touching and a sterling example of the bonds that can be forged by an unlikely family. Critics are tipping this as the dark horse of the awards season (96% on Rotten Tomatoes).