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Hillbilly Elegy, starring Amy Adams and Glenn Close, recently came out on Netflix amid a flurry of talk about its Oscars potential. And then the reviews dropped, with one calling it an “unwieldy slop bucket”.
The film currently stands at 26% on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning that only a quarter of critics were positive about the film. We’ve broken down why the film is being savaged so much, and now director Ron Howard has responded to the critical mauling.
The filmmaker, who also oversaw the critically middling Solo: A Star Wars Story, appeared on CBS This Morning to explain why he thinks the critics have got it wrong.
“I do feel like they’re looking at political thematics that they may or may not disagree with that, honestly, are not really reflected or are not front and centre in this story,” he said.
“What I saw was a family drama that could be very relatable. Yes, culturally specific, and if you’re fascinated by that, I hope you find it interesting.
“If you’re from the region, I hope you find it authentic because certainly that was our aim and that was our effort. But I felt that it was a bridge to understanding that we’re more alike than we are different.”
JD Vance (the author of the adapted novel) added: “I think a lot of people attach specific political significance, but these problems of family struggle, of addiction and resilience, I really do think are timeless because we still have an addiction problem in this country.”
Hillbilly Elegy is available to watch on Netflix now.
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