Home for the Holidays

( 17 )

Overview

It's been said that while most people love their families, they don't always like them very much, and that emotional dividing line is the heart of this comedy directed by Jodie Foster. Claudia Larson Holly Hunter usually approaches family reunions with a certain trepidation, but as she prepares to fly from her home in Chicago to her parent's place in Baltimore for Thanksgiving, she is more apprehensive than usual. Claudia has just lost her job, she's not feeling at all well, and her teenage daughter, Kitt Claire ...
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Overview

It's been said that while most people love their families, they don't always like them very much, and that emotional dividing line is the heart of this comedy directed by Jodie Foster. Claudia Larson Holly Hunter usually approaches family reunions with a certain trepidation, but as she prepares to fly from her home in Chicago to her parent's place in Baltimore for Thanksgiving, she is more apprehensive than usual. Claudia has just lost her job, she's not feeling at all well, and her teenage daughter, Kitt Claire Danes, who is staying behind, informs Claudia on the way to the airport that she plans to use the weekend to lose her virginity with her boyfriend. The family festivities are already under way when Claudia arrives at the home of her mother, Adele Anne Bancroft, and father, Henry Charles Durning. Claudia's brother, Tommy Robert Downey Jr., whose homosexuality is tolerated without being discussed on a practical basis, has brought along his new friend Leo Fish Dylan McDermott. Tommy doesn't get along well with his fussbudget sister, Joanne Cynthia Stevenson, who wears her self-sacrifice like a badge of honor, and he simply hates her husband, Walter Steve Guttenberg, who has often been the target of Tommy's barbed sense of humor. While the siblings and in-laws struggle to remain civil, their quite eccentric aunt Gladys Geraldine Chaplin arrives; she insists on discussing her digestive problems, and after a few drinks, she confesses her long-ago lust for Henry. Home for the Holidays was Jodie Foster's second film as a director, and the first in which she didn't also star.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
While not quite as entertaining as her deft behind-the-lens debut, Little Man Tate (1991), this comedy drama from actress-turned-director Jodie Foster is an emotionally satisfying and observant rumination on how family ties often tighten into a noose during the holidays. Cast standouts are lead Holly Hunter as the single mother of a distant teenager who's not quite sure she isn't still a teen herself, and Robert Downey Jr. as her gay brother, the closeted family black sheep. While some of the plot developments are too stridently over the top and sacrifice character development at the altar of wacky "business," the film is a very real portrait of the dread and disappointment that is the flip side of the delight and affection inherent in any obligatory family reunion. While most critics and audiences found that this painfully funny comedy emphasized the pain over the comedy, Home for the Holidays debunks the artificial cheer served up by most motion pictures and deserves to become a perennial holiday favorite for the emotionally and intellectually evolved.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/3/2000
  • UPC: 027616854292
  • Original Release: 1995
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Holly Hunter Claudia Larson
Robert Downey Jr. Tommy Larson
Anne Bancroft Adele Larson
Charles Durning Henry Larson
Geraldine Chaplin Aunt Glady
Cynthia Stevenson Joanne
Austin Pendleton Peter Arnold
David Strathairn Russell Terziak
Dylan McDermott Leo Fish
Steve Guttenberg Walter Wedman
Claire Danes Kitt
Emily Ann Lloyd Brittany Lace
Randy Stone Man In Car
Amy Yasbeck
Technical Credits
Jodie Foster Director, Producer
Barbara Drake Set Decoration/Design
Mark Isham Score Composer
Avy Kaufman Casting
Stuart Kleinman Executive Producer
Lynzee Klingman Editor
Lajos Koltai Cinematographer
Susan Lyall Costumes/Costume Designer
Andrew McAlpine Production Designer
Chris Newman Score Composer, Sound/Sound Designer
Gary Pilkinton Special Effects
Peggy Rajski Producer
W.D. Richter Screenwriter
Dawn Solér Musical Direction/Supervision
Michael St. Hilaire Camera Operator
Jim Tocci Art Director
Mike Topoozian Asst. Director
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Hits close to home...

    Home for the Holidays is a very entertaning movie. It also hit home for me. While not all of the characters specifically reflect my relatives, the atmosphere of the home mirrors the home in which my family comes together on Thanksgiving.

    The movie holds true to what actual families experience on Thanksgiving Day:laughter, tears, swearing, anxiety, aggravation, love, and perhaps even happiness. The characters are believable, their problems are real (Foster doesn't paint the glossed over fake life here), and wonder why they come home where its the place they really don't want to be.

    The movie holds Robert Downey Jr's best performance since his portrayal of Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin. RDJ brings the character to life and the viewer feels the emotional connection with RDJ's character. The viewer will find himself or herself rooting for the lovable characters and hating the arrogant characters.

    A must see movie for any occassion, especially Thanksgiving.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Just when you think the holidays are over those bastards go and put christmass next

    i LOVE LOVE LOVE this movie.... it's like my family, but mine is more wacked out... the family is great the comedy is great the diner scene is great.. really a fun movie about thanksgiving and the horrors of family..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Must see holiday movie

    This movie is beyond funny. It is a holiday story for every dysfunctional family. It is a Thanksgiving morning ritual in our house to watch this movie while preparing the meal.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Everyone should see this movie!

    Home for the Holidays is a joy to watch...multiple times!! It is hillarious, moving and simply splendid. A definate must see.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Wonderfully Funny Movie

    I have watched this movie every year for 8 years. My copy was burned with my daughter's house and I really have to have another copy for this Thanksgiving. This movie represents so many families in this country. The writer must have experienced this type of family life. This movie is on par with 'The Christmas Story', concerning the BB gun. Cannot go through either holiday without these movies.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Holiday Fun

    A must see for Thanksgiving. A dysfunctional family comes together after not having seen each other since last Thanksgiving, bringing their problems and secrets with them. Hilarious fun and loads of laughs. It is a holiday ritual at my house!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I have this fantasy...

    I can't begin to describe the joy this movie brings me each time I pop it in the DVD player. The characters are fleshed-out and realisticly portrayed, especially Robert Downey Jr as the misunderstood son, and Anne Bancroft as the driven yet loving mother. Dylan Mcdermott will melt your heart as the romantic lead. That voice, those eyes! Cary Grant has serious competition as a top tier Hollywood heartthrob in this fine actor. The GTO is pretty cool too. The cover version of Santana's Evil Ways that opens the show is fantastic, and I'm not very fond of his work. Go figure. For a wonderful look into the making of this movie I suggest listening to the Director's commentary on DVD. Jodi Foster gives some real insight into the choices and motives behind the making of this classic American film. Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best holiday season movie ever made

    This film has something for everyone, and is a joy to watch. We see our own wacky families in each of the characters, making us wonder why we gather together for holidays... but then at the end, Holly Hunter has a private moment with her father (Charles Durning) which brings it all together, and reminds us of what life is all about. A total joy of a movie!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Dysfunctional Family Hysteria!

    If you are part of a dysfunctional family, you will relate to and appreciate this fantastic movie! I could watch it 1000 times and laugh as hard as I did the first! Truely a classic that is the start of my Holiday Season every year!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Get ready for Thanksgiving with the family

    This movie is not only for Thanksgiving, but for the whole year. Have kleenex handy, not for crying but to wipe tears from laughing. Great performances from the entire cast. Coming from a large family, I can relate to each character. Will never tire of the movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2000

    Best Holiday Movie Ever (Maybe best movie overall)

    I simply love this movie because it moves me. I don't profess to be a very critical critic. I don't know good directing from bad. I don't always appreciate the critically acclaimed movies and I have liked some odd movies, so take this for what it's worth. (Whew, thank goodness that is out of the way!) I think Holly Hunter is excellent, and I really care that she is suffering. My heart goes out to her, and to Robert Downey's character. I want these people to be happy. I watch this movie with my husband EVERY year around Thanksgiving. It would not be the Holidays without it. I can also say that this is one of his favorites, too. We both still laugh when the characters laugh, and cry when the characters suffer, even though we watch it year after year. It moves me now, and I suspect it always will. Did I mention it alleviates the ''Family Gathering Dread'' guilt?

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    Posted March 23, 2012

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    Posted October 27, 2008

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    Posted November 17, 2008

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    Posted May 7, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2010

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews