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Home for the Holidays

382 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Holly Hunter, Robert Downey, Jr. All-star comedy captures the spirit of the holidays: food, family and mayhem! Directed by Jodie Foster. 1995/color/103 min/PG-13/widescreen.


Special Features

  • Audio commentary

Product Details

  • Actors: Holly Hunter, Anne Bancroft, Robert Downey Jr., Charles Durning, Dylan McDermott
  • Directors: Jodie Foster
  • Writers: Chris Radant, W.D. Richter
  • Producers: Jodie Foster, Peggy Rajski, Stuart Kleinman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: September 4, 2001
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (382 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005LOKR
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,958 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Home for the Holidays" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

121 of 126 people found the following review helpful By James Hiller VINE VOICE on December 1, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Home for the Holidays" is a quiet, fun little film that I dust off once or twice a year (usually around Thanksgiving!) and sit back and absolutely enjoy. It's become a comfort film for me, one of honesty, predictability, and enjoyment. It's a wonder more people haven't discovered this mini-classic.
Holly Hunter plays Claudia, a forty year old woman forced to endure calamity after calamity on her way to her parent's house for the Thanksgiving holiday. Hunter has her role sewn up from the moment we see her; she encapsulates Claudia and makes her very real as she is conforted with mini-nightmares. These problems plague her, only to define her life as unrealized, possibly misdirected. That Hunter refuses to play her as a sack sad, or someone pitiful, is a testament to her understanding of Claudia.
The script avoids usual the "family cliches" by showing us a dysfunctional family that functions quite well. Gay brother Tommy, so perfectly mastered by Robert Downey Jr., always the family clown, removes his "make-up" and shows incredible sensitivity when he rescues his sister from her holiday horror. Dylan McDermott charms his way quietly as Leo Fish, and you believe his sincerity towards Claudia. Cynthnia Stevenson and Steve Guttenberg rock as the high strung power couple so insistent on perfection in their imperfect lives. And the wonderful Charles Durning and Anne Bancroft as the parents, so beleaguered, so joyful, so real.
While the performances shine, the script shines even brighter, offering little solutions with much insight. You understand Claudia's trauams, but know that none of them are resolvable within a two hour film, and that's ok. Even the ending, which suggests that even daring to dream is enough, is absolutely perfect for this film.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By V. Marshall VINE VOICE on December 8, 2004
Format: DVD
Ahhh the holidays....that wonderful time of thankfulness, love and laughter, NOT!!! This movie will have you in stitches each and every holiday season if you suffer from that ever present disease of dysfunctional family syndrome.

Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) is wallowing in self-pity for good reason, she was fired from her job, her daughter is about to have sex for the first time and she is traveling back home for the holidays. What more could a girl ask for, a cold? She arrives to a snowy existence and a family of little understanding. Her father Henry (Charles Durning) and her mother Adele (Anne Bancroft) are seemingly oblivious to all of the turmoil they have created and that now resides within their children. Soon the house is filled with love and lots of arguments! Gay brother Tommy Larson (Robert Downey Jr.) appears to torture the entire clan with mischief and in tow he has a co-worker/friend, Leo Fish (Dylan McDermott). And of course what family would be complete without the crazy aunt (Geraldine Chaplin) and a branch of perfection that breaks off and becomes the norm, sister Joanne (Cynthia Stevenson) and her [...] husband Walter (Steve Guttenberg). So sit back and have a toast with a perfectly normal American family for the holidays but get ready to laugh uncontrollably too!

Jodie Foster directed this film about the typical dysfunctional family during the holiday season and she brings both a sensitive understanding and a full blown sense of humor to this holiday table. Holly Hunter is really wonderful as the hopeful but often misunderstood sister in a clan of crazies. Despite his drug induced performance, Robert Downey Jr. is perfectly cast as the troubled brother with secrets to protect from a family that can't accept modern life.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 12, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This movie has become one of my all-time favorites. While there are many classic films celebrating Christmas, this is the film I look forward to watching at Thanksgiving each year. I discovered this film one year when I couldn't make it home for the holidays- and watched it again and again. I felt like I had indeed gone home and seen old friends. I cannot understand why some reviewers didn't love it (like Leonard Maltin, but then, when was the last time you concurred with one of his reviews? I think he's paid to praise Hollywood high budget action films).
"Home for the Holidays" is a familiar and touching picture of a typical American family gathering at Thanksgiving time. The casting is wonderful and includes Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr , the always amazing Anne Bancroft and Dylan McDermott. The lead character, a single mother who has long-ago fled her hometown, as played by Holly Hunter is very endearing and readily identifiable, and the situations while depicted humorously, ring true. Jodie Foster did a wonderful job directing- any sentiment from this film, and it has a lot of sentimental value- comes from her wry depiction of family renunions, the inevitable bickering, and resolution at the holidays; emotion is never forced by the actors or upon the viewer. This is a great feel-good, true to life film; I think everyone who is single and under 40 should own it and enjoy it each Thanksgiving, whether you make it home for the holidays or not.
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37 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Its only fair to say up front that "Home For the Holidays" is the kind of movie not everybody will understand or enjoy, especially those with good well adjusted lives. However, for we huddled masses, this film is like a smiling little angle in some newly restored Renaissance masterpiece as director Jodie Foster paints with brilliant flare a portrait of a typical middle-class family at Thanksgiving. That is...a typical less than functional...American family. We, who are products of such, know what's meant by that, and appreciate the true beauty of this work is that it lets you recall the pain and joy that only families can give.
At first glance Home For The Holidays is a good-old-fashioned comedy about the reality of family values and holiday reunions. It follows the return of Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter), a 30-something never been married single-mom eldest daughter professional with a exotic career, to the childhood home for the much-dreaded November 25th holiday feast. In the course of one short not-so-good day she loses her glamorous job, self-respect, and expensive fabulously beautiful coat. As she prepares to board the plane her 15-year-old daughter, Kit (Clare Danes), informs her in a passing after thought..."I'm going to have sex with Tim, safely, and not in the car, have a nice Thanksgiving." Now, the terrified-of-flying Clyde endures the always-bumpy mind-numbing siege of a Fall flight from Chicago to Baltimore siting next to the somebody's mom passenger-from-hell. She is primmed, prelimed, and primed for a close encounter of the parental kind.
Adele, (Anne Bancroft), is an all knowing neurotic chain-smoking..."why are you squandering your god given talents"...
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