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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Just watched Ron Howard's HILLBILLY ELEGY

I think Hillbilly Elegy must have hit Netflix this week.  A friend and I were discussing it just yesterday but I had no idea it was coming out so soon.  I was about to start on The Queen's Gambit (a series getting lots of high praise from people I trust) but I went with Hillbilly Elegy instead.

Ron Howard's latest film hit hard.  Parts of it were like a sucker-punch to the gut.  Hillbilly Elegy slapped me hard in the face and didn't give a damn.  So much of this movie that resonated with me, and not all of it for good reasons.

Let me be succinct about it.  I know people that are like the people in Hillbilly Elegy.  And I could see some of myself in it.  Maybe too much for the circumstances that life has put me in at the moment, but I digress...

Based on J.D. Vance's 2016 memoir of the same name, Hillbilly Elegy spans the course of roughly fourteen years in the life of a Kentucky/Ohio family.  I haven't read the book (yet) but I could identify with the world of young J.D. in this film.  The sense of feeling trapped, and realizing that a person has to want to escape hard enough to make it happen.  Family as something to love as much as be captive to.  The strength to break away without losing one's sense of identity in what came before.

So much that I could say about this movie.  It's going to take some time to sink in, no doubt.

Look for Amy Adams and Glenn Close to sweep up a whole bunch of awards for their portrayals in this movie.  Especially Close, whose character of Mamaw Vance might be more accurate than many of us would like to admit.

It's not a beautiful movie, but it is an honest one.  And I may watch it again soon (but not before watching A Quiet Place, which at least one friend has told me I'm depriving myself by not seeing it yet). 


Ray Comer said...

It came out earlier this month. Wife and I watched it last week and found it very good. I grew up in West Virginia and as you said it was like seeing the people we grew up with all over again.