Caught In Middle America (Film Thoughts: Hillbilly Elegy)

When I started hearing that ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ was bad, I did not know how to react. J.D. Vance, the author of its source book, is a big Trump supporter and there’s a part of me that wants to sock it to him. but I also feel for the cast, most of whom I really like, especially Glenn Close and Amy Adams, two actors who have both been ignored by The Academy. But I know I still wanted to see the film and gather my own thoughts about it. I think Netflix is the perfect avenue for this film, too, as it will reach a much wider audience than it probably would have.

Well, the film isn’t the worst thing in the world, to be honest. But it also isn’t good. I have not read the book, but from what I gather, it spews out a lot of Republican talking points. The screenplay by Vanessa Taylor has no time for the politics so she whittled the story down to a family drama, and I can’t say I blame here. What we get is prime melodrama about a family and its struggled with drug addiction, poverty, infidelity – you know, the usual. Close and Adams do sometimes chew the scenery, but what else are they going to do here? Close fares just a tad better especially when you see how successfully they transformed her to Mamaw, the family matriarch. Sure, I got caught in a bit of the story, but then at the same time, I forgot the film as soon as I finished watching it.

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