Seven-time Academy Award nominated actress – Glenn Close.
Six-time Academy Award nominated actress – Amy Adams.
Twice Academy Award winner filmmaker – Ron Howard,
have come together for the new film – Hillbilly Elegy.
With so much brilliance, can we can expect some extraordinary from ‘Hillbilly Elegy’?
Let’s find out!
Hello Everyone! My name is Varun and this is my channel Adyfilk
and today we are going to talk about the new movie released by Netflix – Hillbilly Elegy.
The film is directed by Ron Howard
and is based on the autobiographical novel of the same name written by J.D.Vance.
It is about a young law student, J.D.Vance
played by Gabriel Basso
and his relationship with his family.
The family involves his heroin-addicted troubled mother played by Amy Adams.
His grandmother with whom J.D. has a healthy relationship is played by Glenn Close.
And his sister, Lindsay played by Haley Bennett.
There are motion pictures with themes of dysfunctional families, poverty
that have been produced in the recent past
such as Moonlight, The Fighter, The Florida Project, etc.
But ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ is not as powerful as these films.
The primary reason could be a screenplay with a storyline
that focussed just on the emotional part of it.
One part set in 1997,
showcases J.D.’s past with the poverty and the troubles he faced in his childhood.
The other part is set in 2011,
where J.D. is a law student looking for an internship
and somehow has to visit his hometown where his past comes to haunt him.
I like films with such narratives,
yet, Hillbilly Elegy was not dynamic and lacked interest.
It starts well by showcasing how certain habits of Bev, J.D.’s mother
are ruining the relationship between the two.
There are a few good scenes here
and the film carries forward itself
and reaches the part where J.D.’s grandmother
took him into her custody to take better care of him.
As we reach this part, the picture loses interest
and the scenes in these sequences are not that strong.
Even the film tends to be too melodramatic at many times.
Apart from a dry screenplay, Hillbilly Elegy excels in a few areas.
And the best is its performances.
Amy Adams as a troubled mother was splendid.
How she changes herself from being funny to a nervous wreck,
shouting and fighting, was extraordinary.
The scene where she stars beating young J.D. in the car
and he runs for help in someone’s house was a terrific piece of acting from her.
Glenn Close too was magnificent in her role.
The way she encourages her grandson
to be a better and successful person was wonderfullly portrayed by her.
She looked well immersed in the role.
There are 13 Oscar nominations between Amy Adams and Glenn Close.
Yet no wins.
After watching the film and the way, it is being promoted,
there are strong chances for any of them to win.
Gabriel Basso as J.D.Vance was not bad in his role too.
Him being confused at certain situations was aptly enacted by him
He was excellent in a few scenes as well.
Especially the scene at the end when he consoles his mother,
and when he is about to bash his mother’s ex.
Owen Asztalos as the young J.D. played his part fine as well.
Haley Bennett as J.D.’s sister didn’t have much to do but she was brilliant on her part.
Her brother-sister dynamic with both the J.Ds, especially with Gabriel Basso was very good.
Apart from acting, the film’s execution of director Ron Howard was OK
and he was able to have a connection between the two narratives.
The cinematography is also marvelous.
The shots used in both eras looked authentic.
The music by Hans Zimmer and David Fleming is magical,
and complements the emotional scenes perfectly.
The film or even the book ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ surrounded itself with some controversies.
The one is with the political nature of them.
I don’t know much as the people who are pointing it,
but after watching the movie nothing felt political in it.
Even some has termed as the ‘Poverty Porn’
and that too was not felt here.
The only issue was the excess of emotions inserted in the film,
otherwise it is a simple story told without any politics or forced social messages in it.
Hence Hillbilly Elegy is not a great film,
yet not as bad as some critics have slammed it.
It had some wonderful moments
and if you are a fan of emotional family dramas, then you will surely like it.
The picture was released in a few cinema halls on November 11th
and currently has an IMDB rating of 5.7.
Since now it has been released globally on Netflix,
I hope the rating of the film will get better.