“Hillbilly Elegy” is currently streaming on Netflix along with “The Trial Of Chicago 7,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Da Five Bloods,” “Over The Moon,” “Crip Camp” & “Mank.” It received negative reviews from critics and streamers alike. Despite earning a Razzie nomination for “Worst Supporting Actress, (Glenn Close) Hillbilly Elegy unexpectedly earned Amy Adams & Glenn Close Oscar nominations for “Best Actress” & “Best Supporting Actress.”
Before “The 93rd Academy Awards” air on April 25th, (a day after my mom’s birthday) I want to share my thoughts on this movie. I’m gonna come clean. I wasn’t fully aware this movie is based on a true story and a book as well. I thought it was made up. Now I know.
This review contains no SPOILERS. I’m giving everybody a chance to stream this movie. Is it a hit or miss? Let’s find out shall we? Keep in mind, my non-spoiler article is short. Not an a three hour plus epic like “Zack Snyder’s Justice League.” Just a plain low stakes biography involving a young man growing up with a hillbilly family.
Positive & Negative Elements
Positive: Amy Adams, Gabriel Basso, (one of the kids from Super 8) Owen Asztalos & Glenn Close all did a fantastic job for their respective performances.
Other Cast Members such as Haley Bennett & Freida Pinto both did a good job for their respective performances.
Ron Howard did a good job directing the film. He also co-produced along with his business partner Brian Grazer (Jack Dylan Grazer’s real life uncle) courtesy of their production company Imagine Entertainment.
Vanessa Taylor wrote the script. She adapted J.D. Vance’s life story.
Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, Interstellar) & David Fleming both served as composers.
Character Development involving J.D. As the story progresses, he matures into an intelligent young man and supports his family.
Prosthetic Makeup was applied transforming Amy & Glenn as their characters.
The film is set in 1997-2011 about J.D.’s life story growing up with a hillbilly family.
I’m gonna come clean, I didn’t cry. I know it’s based on real life, but it never got me. Only movie based on real life that me cry was “Boy’s Don’t Cry.” If you have a sensitive side, let the tears flow. Last time I felt emotionally invested was The Mandalorian’s second season finale.
As of 2021, a “Where Are They Now” scenario reveals what J.D. and his family are up to these days.
Negative: Cinematography often suffers from Shaky Cam. Does anybody know how to keep s camera still. It’s not rocket science.
The Final Verdict: A-
From my point of view, Hillbilly Elegy is a surprisingly decent biography. I never thought something nominated for a Razzie can be actually good. If you’re gearing up for the upcoming 2021 Oscars, I highly recommend this movie. I thought Amy Adams & Glenn Close both did a fantastic job. What the heck is wrong with critics? Seriously? Glenn wasn’t that awful. This isn’t a Tommy Wiseau (The Room) so bad it’s good guilty pleasure. Hillbilly Elegy is actually very good. If it weren’t for shaky cinematography, I would’ve given it my highest grade an A, FOR APEX. An A- is almost up there.
If you wanna watch other Oscar nominated films on Netflix, give Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Da 5 Bloods, The Trial Of Chicago 7, Crip Camp, Over The Moon & Mank a try.
One more thing. If you’re truly looking for a critically panned film, watch “Thunder Force” or that Kate Hudson movie called, “Music.”