David Hemingson attends the 2024 National Board of Review Gala in New York City. (Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images) David Hemingson always tempers his expectations while writing. In his nearly 30 years of working in TV, he’s come to expect that whatever episode gets produced from his teleplays is going to be “two or three steps below whatever I envision in my head.” “That’s fine,” Hemingson told TheWrap. “That’s just a natural consequence of the filming process.” But such expectations just made his experience on his feature film writing debut, “The Holdovers,” even more mind-blowing to him, long before it nabbed him an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. “‘The Holdovers’ ended up being four times the film I put on the page, and I credit Alexander [Payne, director] and the entire cast for that,” Hemingson said. “They not only captured the essence of the characters as I wrote them but just added more levels to it.” Set in a New England boarding school in 1970, “The Holdovers” stars Paul Giamatti in a major Oscar-contending performance as Paul Hunham, a curmudgeonly history teacher feared and hated by his students and kept at a distance by his fellow faculty. Read Next Oscar Nominations 2024: The Complete List When he is left taking care of the students who have to stay behind during the holidays, he forms an unlikely bond with a promising but troubled student named Angus (Dominic Sasse) and the school’s cook, Mary (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), who is mourning the loss of her son. Given its setting and Giamatti’s nuanced performance as a snarky teacher, “The Holdovers” is sure to evoke memories of nightmare teachers in the minds of many who view it. But while the film’s snowy boarding school setting was influenced by Hemingson’s education at Watkinson School in Hartford in the 1980s, Hunham himself wasn’t inspired by a teacher, but by his uncle. Hemingson said that with his mother working all day as a nurse, his uncle took care of him growing up. “He was a WWII vet from Washington State and read all of these classic […]
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