Alexander Payne’s ‘The Holdovers’ faces plagiarism allegations forward of Oscars


Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers
| Picture Credit score: YouTube/Focus Options

Alexander Payne’s newest Oscar-nominee, The Holdovers, has discovered itself embroiled in controversy as accusations of plagiarism floor from Simon Stephenson, co-writer of Disney Pixar’s Luca. Stephenson alleges placing similarities between The Holdovers and his 2013 Black Record spec script, Frisco.

In an in depth argument reported by Selection, Stephenson claims that the Oscar-nominated screenplay for The Holdovers mirrors his personal Frisco script, suggesting that Payne probably had entry to his work. Whereas the screenplay for The Holdovers is solely credited to David Hemingson, Stephenson asserts that the narrative parallels between the 2 scripts are too pronounced to be coincidental.

The Holdovers follows the story of a grumpy prep college historical past trainer tasked with caring for a 15-year-old scholar, whereas Frisco revolves round a pediatric allergist who kinds a bond with a terminally sick teenager throughout a visit to San Francisco.

Dominic Sessa  and Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers

Dominic Sessa and Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers
| Picture Credit score:
Focus Options

Regardless of reaching out to Focus Options, WGA West, and representatives for Payne, Hemingson, and himself, Stephenson has but to obtain a response. The WGA sometimes refrains from investigating plagiarism claims associated to spec scripts, although Stephenson’s assertion has sparked some dialogue throughout the guild.

Selection’s report features a paper path of emails suggesting Payne’s familiarity with Stephenson’s script earlier than the event of The Holdovers. Moreover, a memo from Stephenson evaluating the 2 scripts has been revealed, additional fueling the allegations.

Payne has beforehand acknowledged involvement in shaping the script for The Holdovers however opted to not take a display screen credit score.

Sarcastically, one of many handful of plot factors from The Holdovers that Stephenson claims varies from Frisco is a scene Paul Giamatti’s character recounting a narrative about plagiarism, altering the trajectory of their life — a story twist that now provides layers of irony to the unfolding controversy.

As the talk ensues, The Holdovers is nominated for Finest Unique Screenplay on the upcoming Academy Awards, dealing with off in opposition to Anatomy of a Fall, Previous Lives, Could December and Maestro.

The movie has additionally secured nominations for Finest Actor (Paul Giamatti), Finest Supporting Actress (Da’Vine Pleasure Randolph), Finest Movie Modifying and the coveted Finest Image.

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