Since its premier in 2006 in New York, The Holiday has become a Christmas classic. Produced and directed by American filmmaker, Nancy Meyers who is known for films such as Father of the Bride, The Parent Trap and many more comedy classics, The Holiday holds up every year.
This winter The Holiday goes on tour with two very special screenings, one in London on the 3rd December and the other at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow on 8th December. The fully-packed Royal Concert Hall welcomed the orchestra and conductor with cheers and continued to do so (and the movie) for the rest of the screening. The conductor was fantastic at establishing a rapport with the audience, often encouraging everyone to clap and make noise.
Starring Kate Winslet (Iris) who was hand-picked by Meyers who wrote all of Iris’s lines with Winslet in mind, and Cameron Diaz (Amanda), the movie tells a story of two women in search of love. While Amanda lives in a luxurious mansion in California, Iris has a lovely, small cottage in a remote English village. Both eager to get away, Amanda and Iris arrange a home exchange for the holidays and switch homes for a few weeks. During their Christmas break they each meet and (unsurprisingly) fall in love with men from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Jude Law (Graham) and Jack Black (Miles) who play their love interests have undeniable chemistry with their co-stars. The scenery, the music, the outfits and the stories make this a pleasure to watch every single time.
Many would argue that the true star of the movie is actually Eli Wallach as Arthur Abbot. Wallach plays a famous Hollywood screenwriter and Amanda’s neighbour who strikes a friendship with Iris. It’s worth noting that the actor was 90 years old on the set of The Holiday and had to be reminded to slow down during shooting and act more like an older man.
There are a lot of clever cameos in the movie, including Dustin Hoffman who appears in the video rental store in California. Lindsay Lohan and James Franco who are featured in a trailer that Amanda is working on before she sets off to England and Hal Douglas, a veteran voiceover talent who narrates the various scenarios in Amanda’s head during her adventure.
The film grossed over $205m worldwide and continues to make its way to millions of homes during the holiday season. The Holiday is on tour presented live in concert with the musical score being performed by a full concert orchestra. The Hans Zimmer score is truly magical and will take you on a wonderful journey while you watch Diaz and Winslet discover love in unexpected places in this Christmas classic. Zimmer also composed music for movies such as Inception, Dune, No Time To Die and Interstellar.
Over the last few years there have been more and more classics brought to the big screen accompanied by a live orchestra. There is something truly special about seeing your favourite movie and having the score of it being brought to life. It adds a certain newness to the experience and can be very nostalgic and special indeed. What made this performance extra special was the audience’s reactions and loud cheering at certain points of the screening. The score performed by the orchestra only elevated this feeling of togetherness and adventure. The atmosphere was absolutely terrific and the orchestra played so well that at times it was easy to forget that they were all there at all. Despite a concert hall not being an ideal venue to watch a film (the sound can at times be a bit iffy), the orchestra and the atmosphere in the audience more than makes up for any sound issues you may experience.
With thanks from Artmag to Joanna Zuchowska for this review.