Hillbilly Elegy (review)

Hillbilly Elegy (review)
Hillbilly Elegy (review)
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Although it’s not mentioned until the closing credits, this film is based on a true memoir. Even so, the continuous tragedies that surround these 3 generations seem stacked against anything but strife and sadness. The narrative (literally narrated) jumps between recent times, when the central character, who’s now a law student at Yale, has to come home to Ohio to deal with his mother (Amy Adams). The flashbacks feature him as a boy, dealing with her continuous failures and the sometimes support of his Mamaw (an almost unrecognizable Glen Close). Director Ron Howard is making sure that everyone’s acting like crazy, but the relentless misfortunes and hurtful relationships make the whole thing hard to handle without much empathy to give it any emotional heft. (There are photos of the real family during the credits).


2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)


Movieland link

On Netflix November 24



  1. But sometimes, people’s lives are actually this unrelenting and sad. While it’s hard to watch, maybe it’s important to watch.

    • I agree. I trust Ron Howard’s sensibilities but this looks exploitive. I wonder what JD Vance thinks of this one-dimensional take on his richly nuanced memoir.

  2. I, as Caryl, wonder what JD Vance thinks of the movie?! It took courage & purpose to write I also heard him speak in person! He was very sincere & purposeful in revealing his story!

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