‘Hillbilly Elegy’ Movie Review: Another Netflix Oscar Contender

In the last few years, Netflix’s entry into the acclaimed film space has gone less than Steven Spielberg’s. Netflix movies like Roma, The Irishman, Marriage Story and The Two Popes has competed extensively for a theater film studio at the Oscars. In a year when movie theaters closed due to the pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19), Netflix became one of the most popular games in town for popular movies. Hillbilly dies would be a strong competitor in any year, but many of its strongest competitors have made their way for 2021.

Hillbilly's Death: Glenn Close and Amy Adams
LR: Glenn Close and Amy Adams Lacey Terrell / Netflix

‘Hillbilly Elegy’ or a story about 2 JD Vances

In 1997, Bev Vance (Amy Adams) moves her mother Mamaw (Glenn Close) and children JD (Owen Asztalos) and Lindsay (Haley Bennett) from Jackson, KY to Middletown, Ohio. In 2011, JD (Gabriel Basso) is a student at Yale Law School who struggles to do his teaching and find interns

Movie Netflix Hillbilly Elegy
LR: Haley Bennett, Gabriel Basso and Amy Adams Lacey Terrell / Netflix

Mamaw is important in her life in 1997. Everything she says is a life lesson. Perhaps that is how JD remembers her, and Hillbilly dies based on the memoir written by the real Vance. Some of Mamaw’s wisdom looks a little simplistic, especially her Terminator theory, but when Bev is at his worst, Mamaw steps up to shield JD from him.

Hillbilly dies is a crude, obscure view of the tax slavery of an entire family. That may not sound like fun, but it can be nice to see actors like Adams, Close, Bennett, Basso and Asztalos deal with it. We hope that it is also useful for anyone dealing with slavery in any form to see that they are not alone, and that there are ways through it.

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