Friday, December 18, 2009

The Holiday

I love, love, love this movie. It is about four people, each with their own problems and imperfections, who find out who they really are and thus find true happiness during a Christmas holiday.

Cameron Diaz plays a movie trailer company owner in Los Angeles who has just found out her live-in boyfriend is cheating on her. She's mad, she throws things, she socks him, but she doesn't cry.

Kate Winslet plays a journalist in London who writes about weddings, and has been in a hopeless, three-year relationship with a co-worker. He has just announced his engagement to someone else who works in the same office.

Jude Law works in the book publishing business in London, and is involved in meaningless one-night stands.

Jack Black is a movie music writer who has a girlfriend of a few months.

How all these people come together and change one another's lives is the 'plot' of the film. The women do a house exchange for the Christmas holiday which is how Diaz and Law get together, and Winslet and Black become friends. Another very important, and inspired, character in this film is an old Hollywood screenwriter played by Eli Wallach. I don't think I've even seen him in a finer role. He is subdued and subtle and thoroughly loveable. He and the Kate Winslet character form a quick, yet firm and lasting friendship which emboldens both of them.

That's about all I want to say in case you haven't seen it. I wouldn't want to spoil this really wonderful story for you. I'll just add that I think I'm a little in love with Jack Black when he plays a calm, romantic character. Of course, I think he is superb in movies such as High Fidelity and The School of Rock but I think Hollywood should offer him more of these toned-down sorts of roles. And Jude Law is as beautiful as ever in this film, and his character such an appealing one. Kate Winslet is utterly wonderful in the role of a woman who just can't get herself out of this 'toxic, twisted' relationship. And Cameron Diaz hasn't cried since her parents broke up when she was a teen. You bring these personalities together, played by actors who truly make the characters come to life, and you've got a terrifically entertaining and enlightening movie.

Oh, and the Cotswolds' house is my perfect home. It was manufactured specially for the movie. The outside, the setting, and the rooms are my ideal. I pause the dvd just to look at the shelves and dishes and tables and lamps and books. I so love it.

A little PS:

There is one more thing I'd like to mention. There is a little homage to one of my all time favorite movies, A Man and A Woman. The writer, director, and producer Nancy Meyers offers a playful short scene with the Diaz and Law characters. There are no words spoken but he picks her up and swings her in his arms; she is wearing much the same coat as the Anouk Aimee character, and even has the same hairstyle.


  1. I couldn't agree more! This is a lovely film all around. Both Jack Black and Jude Law are wonderfully appealing to me in this movie.

  2. I haven't seen this yet, but I'm putting it down on my list. It sounds wonderful!

  3. I love, love, love this movie too. I've seen it several times and never grow tired of it. Wednesday was my birthday and my 16 yo daughter gave it to me as a gift. Now I can watch it whenever the mood strikes! yay!

  4. I love this movie too. Rudi and I have a New Year's Eve tradition of spending the whole day and evening at the movies. The year this came out, it was the final movie of the night, the one where we were when the year switched over. It was ... perfect.

  5. I loved it too, Nan!
    Great movie with some lovely scenes....the beautiful home in the Cotswolds reminded me of our time there! Just lovely!
    Thanks for sharing,

  6. One of my favorites too, Nan! I'm going to have to rent it over the holidays...thanks so much for the reminder.

    I got a sneak-peek at Nancy Meyers' new Christmas movie... It's Complicated with Meryl Streep. It is fun! So if you have a date night over the holidays...

  7. I'd completely forgotten the wonderfulness of A Man and a Woman. Years since I saw it and whole scenes and snatches of dialogue have come back to me. Thank you for the reminder!

  8. This is one of my favorite holiday movies. I may watch it today, in fact!

    My mind kept slipping back to this book editor character when I saw him in Hamlet last month!

    I also adore all the references to classic movies. "Who isn't the leading lady in their own life?"

  9. Kay, I think you will love it!

    Aisling, such a thoughtful, wonderful present!

    Sprite, what a nice, nice thing to do! I love the thought of it.

    Joanne, such a beautiful area of the world.

    June, I've seen previews and look forward to seeing it. Not sure if it will come around here. That's why I am so grateful for netflix!

    Call me madam, it doesn't surprise me a bit that you love that movie. :<)

    Ophelia, I loved all those movie references, too. In fact, I'm going to add a bunch of Irene Dunne movies to my netflix queue. I look forward to him in Hamlet. I think he would be perfect!

  10. Ophelia, me again. I said I look forward to seeing him in Hamlet - as if I ever will! Unless they make it into a movie.

  11. I love this movie--mostly for Kate Winslet and that dreamy cottage (and Jude Law is easy on the eyes too). It's one of those visually delicious movies that I wish wouldn't end and that I could step into.

  12. Hello Dear Nan!

    Have not seen the film as yet, but it most certainly sounds wonderful!

    Wishing you the most beautiful Christmas ever and a joyous new year!



  13. Absolutely adore this movie!! I've often thought about buying it a time or two as I've never gotten tired of watching it yet!!

  14. Sweet movie. Don't miss Meet Me in St. Louis and the Katharine Hepburn Little Women when they come around too.

    It's Complicated, the new movie with Meryl Streep-Alec Baldwin, opens Christmas Day in most markets. I hope you can find it as it looks like great fun.

  15. Nan, I just love this movie too! I've watched it twice this year so far!!

  16. Jen, my thoughts exactly!

    Beverly, thank you and the same to you!

    Staci, if I lived nearby, I'd go buy a copy and bring it over to you. :<)

    Mary Lois, I just this year bought the 'new' 2-dvd disc of Meet Me in St. Louis. And I adore the KH Little Women. I should really buy it. I do own the most recent one, which (perhaps surprisingly) I love; the one with Winona Ryder. I'm so hoping It's Complicated comes around here soon.

    Sherri, that's so great!

  17. I really liked this movie too, Nan. Now you've put me in the mood to watch it again. :-)

  18. Everything you wrote, I second. Love this movie. I watched it with Amy a couple of years ago when she was home for Christmas. I need to buy a copy.

  19. Porbably not very manly of me but i saw that movie and enjoyed it.I thought it was more interesting than the run of the mill holiday film.-Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  20. Oh, yes! I have seen this one a lot. My other holiday fave (besides the Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life and Peanuts!) is Love, Actually.

  21. I'm so glad for this recommendation, Nan. Usually this time of year I re-watch Love Actually, Bridget Jones, or Funny Farm, but this December I've been wanting to watch something new. Tomorrow after the kids are in bed and Mike's off to his fire dept. meeting I'll make myself a toddy of some sort and watch The Holiday in peace - an early Christmas present to myself!

  22. Nan,
    I just watched it for the first time a few nights ago and loved it. I am iffy about Jack Black, but I do love him in this.

  23. I am in love with Kate's cottage. Even the bathtub where my feet would stick out!

  24. I'm nuts for this Cotwold house too!

  25. Love this movie too ... and ... the French Toast recipe :) Happy Holidays!

  26. Thank you all for writing about this special and wonderful film.


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