Oscar voters, you have been officially baited.
With the first trailer for Netflix’s Hillbilly Elegy, the oft-nominated but long-denied Academy bridesmaids Amy Adams and Glenn Close (with 13 nominations and 0 wins between them) are featured at their most dramatic.
Based on the best-selling memoir by Yale grad J.D. Vance — who wrote about growing up in a low-income Appalachian family led by two generational matriarchs (played by Adams and Close, each uglied-down rather noticeably) — Hillbilly Elegy was published in 2016. While it never mentions or refers to Donald Trump, the book came to represent the plight of the rural, low-income white working class and the conditions that drew them to Trump’s economic message.
The new film version comes from director Ron Howard and, by the tone of this first look, it appears to fall right in line with Howard’s melodramatic tendencies. Virtually every scene in the trailer shows each character at their’ most heightened, mugging pitch. One hopes that, once viewed in context, these moments are effective crescendos rather than being indicative of the film’s entire dramaturgy.
Co-starring Gabriel Basso and Owen Asztalos as Vance at his adult and teen ages, the ensemble also includes Haley Bennett, Freida Pinto, and Bo Hopkins, in an adaptation written by Vanessa Taylor (The Shape of Water).
Hillbilly Elegy opens in select theaters and streams on Netflix on November 24, 2020.
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