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I wrote this article after a quick, slip-in release of the film. Before it was truly released or whatever the hell they do during December.

I didn’t know where the Oscars would be with this one or others and didn’t care (and still don’t).

I mean, back when I’m writing this article, I heard what’s-her-face was nominated for Priscilla for some award. The actress, not Coppola. Nothing against Coppola (Sophia), but her (Sophia’s) stuff bores me.

But back to the actress (what’s-her-face), and nothing against her, but she was terrible. She was supposed to be quiet and awkwardly-cute, both in the scenes and in the theater. That is, she was obviously meant to evoke high levels of ick with the audience members who’d naturally perceive the little girl as inappropriately young (innocent but also a person with needs and aspirations … which weren’t ever brought up). And that (wide angles to compare short people with tall people) worked, but it also made her (Priscilla) a token character since there was no development or concern for her wellbeing.

But that was Coppola’s fault, not the actress. Or maybe more so whoever adapted Priscilla’s book.

Speaking of token characters, there was this stupid, cricket-silence moment where Priscilla was introduced to the black housekeeper. Why?

And let’s be clear. I am sooooo for equal rights and people being seen as people that I am offended for black people in moments like this. [See The Holdovers eventually mentioned near the end of this article.]

Real quick: you know Priscilla is about Elvis’ wife, right?

Should I say it like that? “Elvis’ wife”? No. I know I shouldn’t. But I did.

Because I understand the point made by the book title Elvis and Me on which the movie was based. Maybe you, or Hollywood, doesn’t get the point of being an individual. Do they (Hollywood) even understand the word “empowering”?

This irritation is shared by my wife, by the way. She’s constantly upset with these newer movies where the idea of having a strong woman does nothing but illustrate how boring and weak real women have been. Women who we – you, me, wife – know were anything but weak and boring. They were human beings for Elvis’ sake! Or JFK’s! Or whoever else’s. (Get the irony here? Are you still with me?)

Jackie and Battle of the Sexes don’t hit you in the stomach or bop you in the head. But they should. (Ever see Francis?) Spencer and Seberg were better, but mostly because of Kristen Stewart’s underrated acting powers.

Specifically with Priscilla, there were about four scenes where she (the actress – I really don’t want to call her out or even mention her name) cried or shouted. I think they purposely edited around her facial reactions. Just bad stuff.

Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana in “Spencer”

So The Holdovers.

Yeah. Really good. During it, I whispered to my wife how I missed Wes Anderson’s early stuff. Because this one reminded me of those (and director Alexander Payne’s work between Citizen Ruth and Nebraska). Simple. Quality. Meaningful. Real. A few minutes later, one of the songs from … I think Rushmore came on.

“See?” I said.

[NOTE: Anderson directed Rushmore and not The Holdovers. Do your homework. Get it?]

 

“The Holdovers” – the kid and the black woman

And the black woman’s story in The Holdovers was just as important as Priscilla’s or the actress who played her or all of the other women mentioned in this article (including Sofia Coppola and, of course, my wife). The difference: acting, background, purpose.

I mean, what is the purpose of your movie?! What are you contributing?! We should care about these people!

(I will say, I don’t think the black woman’s story would have been as predominant and realized as it was if it wasn’t for where we are today. This is a good thing but also a forced “need” in the Hollywood scene. Yet, not necessarily forced in the scenes of The Holdovers. Basically, these people and their stories should have been a priority since forever. Make sense?)

Lastly, I say “the black woman” because I haven’t looked up her work or name. I recognized her from something else, but I haven’t yet checked her previous movies/shows.

Also, the kid in The Holdovers reminded me of my daughter’s boyfriend, so my wife and I call that actor/character by the same name as my daughter’s boyfriend. I’m saying, no disrespect to the people in this article. (Except for Coppola for allowing poor takes from her actress and the politically-crooked-correctness occurring within Hollywood and award shows.)

So … The Holdovers. A good holiday movie. Put it up for some Oscars. (If that matters.)

Dan Jones

Author Dan Jones

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