The Holdovers, in which the star plays a teacher—a career he nearly pursued in real life—has the actor reportedly in line to win his first-ever Academy Award.
Thus far, his latest movie, The Holdovers, has brought him a Golden Globe, a nomination for Best Actor at the BAFTAs, and strong predictions to win the same category at the Oscars.
The American actor said, “I’m terrified, I dread having to speak in public and have to be myself,” in an interview with Sky News. “But because I really like this movie, it’s been easier to do.”
He reunites with director Alexander Payne for the movie, having collaborated on the movie Sideways two decades prior.
Back then, Giamatti’s portrayal of middle-aged disappointment was as painful to watch as it was humorous, following his character as he set out on a road trip through the wine country of California.
The two appear to be replicating that filmic triumph twenty years later. The story of the movie revolves around a professor at an elite boarding school in the early 1970s who, against his will, must look after the kids whose parents don’t want them to spend Christmas at home.
“The timing,” says Giamatti, “it feels like the right movie at the right time, you know, this kind of nice movie about empathy and connection in times that feel pretty fraught and divisive.”