Well, I watched the film version of "Hillbilly Elegy" (2020) and it was okay - nothing more than that. That used to always be the case with the in-house films that Netflix churned out - just okay. It was reasonably reflective of the book though some episodes were added for effect such as JD's mother Beverly, played by Amy Adams, skating down hospital corridors while under the influence of drugs and thereby losing her nursing job. Also JD's involvement in a late night revenge vandalism spree at a local hardware and gardening depot never happened in the book.
Incidentally, the film was directed by the now legendary Ron Howard who had been looking for a story like the one that Vance had told - about the forgotten white underclass of middle America.
My appreciation of the film was lifted by the presence of Glenn Close playing Mamaw - JD's fearsome grandmother. She smokes cigarettes as vigorously as she defends her family showing both a warrior spirit and wise understanding of how humans operate. She is no fool.
So yes, I don't regret devoting two hours to viewing that film. After all it's nice to see an American film that is not all about superheroes, the super-rich or gun toting heroes. At least here there is a genuine effort to portray real people, real lives.
Today, I have found out a lot more about J.D. Vance and how he is viewed in America. I read a long article about him from "The Atlantic" by a columnist called Tom Nichols. It is titled "The Moral Collapse of J.D.Vance" and as the title suggests, it comments on his fall from grace in the past three years and how he appears to have sold his soul to the devil in order to advance his personal fortune and his future political prospects. In Vance's new world, where are the people of Jackson, Kentucky and Middletown, Ohio now? Where have they gone?
Tom Nichols says that Vance has become "a contemptible and cringe-inducing clown" and there's also this:-
My friend Preet Bharara, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, tried to describe Vance recently and came up with “pathetic loser poser fake jerk,” but that is a lot of words. To distill the essence of Vance as a public figure, the word that enters my mind is an anatomical reference beginning with the letter a.
I am confident that you can guess what that word is.
Yes, that last bit sums him up very nicely. I never bothered to watch the movie, but I do like Glenn Close most of the time.ReplyDelete
It's best to keep her close.Delete
Perhaps the reason I didn't enjoy the book was because I know that life he was talking about. My family wasn't there but many of the people I've lived around were. Are.ReplyDelete
Sucks about Vance. How does that even happen?
Ha-ha! Yes that does begin with "a"! But the answer is I believe asshole!Delete
Glenn Close is always amazing but I think I'll pass on the film.ReplyDelete
Stick to "Frozen" and "Harry Potter" Bruce,Delete
He's a climber and doesn't care how he gets there.ReplyDelete
He seems to have cut away his roots.Delete
I'd forgotten Glenn close was in that movie. She's a good character actress.ReplyDelete
She has succeeded in a wide range of roles. She might play you one day. That would be a challenge.Delete
He is an arm. I just knew it.ReplyDelete
Nope. The answer is asshole Andrew. Wasn't that your nickname at school?Delete
I preferred Glenn in Fatal Attraction.ReplyDelete
On one hand, I guess I can't blame him for wanting to climb so high after a depressing childhood. Many other people do the same all the time. But I don't have to respect him for doing so.ReplyDelete
I liked "Hillbilly Elegy," both the book and the movie, and I'm so disappointed that Vance turned out to be such a self-promoter (apparently to the exclusion of any genuine values of this own). Maybe he's playing the part so he can be a stealth agent and help people in his district. But I doubt it.ReplyDelete