It seems like Netflix hasn’t got this one right. Hillbilly Elegy has been deemed one of the streaming service’s much anticipated movies of the year. The flick has even been Oscar-tipped, with huge stars such as Amy Adams. With this being said, early reviews have been pretty negative. You can’t win everything Netflix!
Hillbilly Elegy is based of the bestselling JD Vance memoir, focusing on a former Marine who lands his dream job. After a family crisis, he is forced to go home and deal with his family relationships. That includes his grandmother and mother who struggles with addiction. The general consensus of the new movie is that it’s just ok. Some reviewers had a little more to say than that though…
New York Post said:
“The new movie Hillbilly Elegy is a series of rotten choices – occasionally by the characters, but mostly by Hollywood. Whose idea was it to cast Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction) and Amy Adams (American Hustle) as normal women who wear oversize shirts and might dine at KFC? Who thought Hans Zimmer (Pirates of the Caribbean) was the right man to score a subtle, small-town story of perseverance? That would be Ron Howard (The Da Vinci Code), an often fine director but as bad a fit here as everything else, who treats an urgent story about a forgotten American caste like it’s Oscar bait from 1996”.
“As long as Close is acting up an award-worthy storm (her performance is actually quite meticulous), Hillbilly Elegy is never less than alive. Adams does some showpiece acting of her own, but as skillful as her performance is, she never gets us to look at Bev with pity and terror. What we should feel is, ‘There but for the grace of God go I.’ Instead we think, ‘Thank God I don’t know this person.’ Gabriel Basso’s JD, on the other hand, is so wholesomely likable that the fate of his soul never seems at stake. His people may be haunted by the demons of Appalachia, but he comes off as a yuppie whose life has boiled down to: Will those demons stand in the way of my career path? Not if he won’t let them they won’t. That isn’t quite drama – it’s feel-good therapy”.
Sadly, not every movie is going to blow away critics. What really matters is what the audience thinks. Hillbilly Elergy drops on Netflix on the 24th of November, so only you can decide what you think!