The bright lights of Hollywood turn on Appalachia in Hillbilly Elegy, the latest from director Ron Howard.
J.D. Vance is one of the few people that got out. Out of his hometown, out of the vacuum of poverty, out of the living generations of his family led. Now a law student with the world opening up before him, he must briefly return to that small town in Appalachia, leading to an exploration of the people who raised him, including his forceful grandma and his lost mother.
Based on the memoir of the same name, this film comes out of the gate with tons of pushback. Ostensibly a story of one man’s rise from poverty, the book drew strong criticism for its apparent sweeping generalizations about white working-class America, and the trailer doesn’t make it seem like the most original take. There are big-name actresses like Glenn Close and Amy Adams de-glamming, a hell of a lot of poverty to wallow in, and there’s that overbearing score.
Could Hillbilly Elegy come out of nowhere to be a complex look at white, rural America? Maybe. I mean, there is Close and Adams along with plenty of other strong cast members like Haley Bennett, Freida Pinto, and Gabriel Basso, and Howard is hardly a director to sniff at. But this is carrying a lot of baggage. Luckily, it’ll be dropping worldwide on Netflix, so it won’t cost you much to take a chance on it.
Hillbilly Elegy is directed by Ron Howard and stars Glenn Close, Amy Adams, and Gabriel Basso. It will be released on Netflix worldwide on November 24th, 2020.
Will you check this one out? Let us know in the comments!
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