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Holes: a viewing

Guildford Famous Players

Friday, April 18, 2003 1:30pm

Ages 3-13 $7 Adult $8


The Plot

A teenager, Stanley Yelnats, is sent to Camp Green Lake, a Texas detention camp, for a crime he didn't commit. There, he and the other boys are forced by the warden, a fiery woman who paints her nails with snake venom, to dig holes as something of a "character-building experience." Each day, each boy must dig a hole five feet deep and wide, in the long-dry rock that was once the bottom of Green Lake. (



The Plan

Holes is a book from our school library, which our class read together over terms 1 and 2.  As a number of 6Es students want to see this film, we thought it would be a neat idea to view it together.  Because seeing it during class time likely would not fly, we cooperatively decided it might to be nice to see it sometime this Friday afternoon at the Famous Players in Guildford.  This event is optional.


The Rating

Holes is rated PG for violence, mild language and some thematic elements. (



The Review

As an educator, I was able to attend a special advance screening of the movie. It was fun, fast-paced, meaningful, touching, and cool. I am not a movie person. I especially don't like movies made from books. But after this movie, my husband asked, "Well, did it do the book justice?" And my answer was a resounding, "YES!" And my husband himself, who isn't what you'd call a young adult movie fan, enjoyed it immensely and thanked me for asking him along.

The movie strongly resembled the book, with many story lines and strange coincidences that all weave together due to the tricky Fate which brings several characters with related "history" together. My husband asked before going, "What's this movie about?" And I said, "It's about a lot of things." Things like prejudice, peer pressure, friendship, justice, family--all without being preachy or moralizing at all, which I think is the strength of the movie and the book.

It's not a perfect movie, and quite probably not everyone's cup of tea, but the few flaws were worth overlooking due to the fact that this was a movie that ends up making you feel good, really good. The whole family can enjoy it together--though it might be a little hard for very little ones to follow, young adults to full grown adults won't have their intelligence insulted.

Oh, by the way, the author of the book (and the screenplay!), Louis Sachar, has a cameo in the movie as the man who buys onion tonic for his baldness. (

Quossum Texas April 4, 2003.