This year's Academy Awards will put the SouthCoast on the map thanks to one critically acclaimed film.

The Holdovers was partially shot at Fairhaven High School in Fairhaven and the Wamsutta Club in New Bedford in the winter of 2022. Since its release on Oct. 27, 2023, it has received massive buzz. Just this week, it snagged an impressive five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Actor.

The film is about a cranky history teacher, played by Paul Giamatti, at a remote prep school in the 1970s. He is forced to remain on campus over the holidays with a grieving cook and a troubled student who has no place to go.

The Holdovers is the latest in a string of movies to have filmed at least a little bit on the SouthCoast. Passionada showed off New Bedford in a celebration of Portuguese culture back in 2002. Knight and Day turned New Bedford's Route 18 into a dramatic car chase scene featuring Cameron Diaz in 2010. Most recently, Finestkind on Paramount+ showed off New Bedford's working waterfront as it told a dramatic story about family. Finestkind was directed by New Bedford native Brian Helgeland, and shot in various locations across New Bedford and Fairhaven.

Even though we've had our fair share of Hollywood productions, a SouthCoast-made film rarely becomes an Oscar-nominated movie. In a way, it kind of feels like we made it.

Even in the trailer for The Holdovers, you can see so many nods to different locations such as the Henry Huttleston Rogers interior of Fairhaven High School and the Mabel Hoyle Knipe Auditorium stage. If you look closely, the dining room scenes were filmed at the Wamsutta Club. In a truly surreal moment, a Fairhaven High grad got to work on the film.

Critics from all over praised The Holdovers. The Hollywood Reporter says, "It is an engaging and often touching comic drama that builds power as it moves toward its immensely satisfying conclusion."

Getty Images
Getty Images

The movie marks Giamatti's first Best Actor nod despite a career full of strong performances. Gold Derby, a website of Hollywood bets, lists Giamatti as the frontrunner for the win. After all, he did win the Golden Globe.

The film has layers of emotions, creating moments for the audience to connect with the characters genuinely. Plus, it is also a comedy that will leave you smiling throughout.

Overall, if you haven't seen The Holdovers, now would be the perfect time for you to watch the film before the Oscars airs on March 10.

Honestly, it never gets old to watch a movie filmed in your neighborhood while pointing out all the landmarks you know.


Also, take a look at the other Oscar nominations, including the ones running up against The Holdovers.

The Holdovers is streaming on Peacock, or it can be rented on Prime Video.

This isn't the first SouthCoast connection to the Oscars. In 2023, part-time Dartmouth resident Jenny Slate's Marcel the Shell With Shoes On was nominated for Best Animated Feature. Slate, a Milton native, also appeared in the 2023 Best Picture winner Everything Everywhere All at Once. 

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