Amy Adams and Glenn Close Are Coming for Their Oscars in “Hillbilly Elegy” Trailer

Amy Adams and Glenn Close have been the perpetual bridesmaids in recent Oscars history, earning a combined 13 nominations with zero wins. But their luck might finally change with the intense addiction drama Hillbilly Elegy. Based on the memoir by J.D. Vance, this fictionalized portrait of a poor Ohio family in dire straits should be a major player throughout awards season. Vance's book received acclaim for its tale of breaking the cycle of poverty and addiction, but earned criticism for its extrapolated takes on economics and politics. The screenplay, by Oscar nominee Vanessa Taylor (The Shape of Water), should distill it into something more palatable for a wider audience.

Gabriel Basso (who hasn't made a movie since the dreadful Keanu Reeves-Renee Zellweger legal thriller The Whole Truth) stars as J.D., who reflects on his life while returning home to deal with a family crisis. Adams plays his mother Bev, an addict who has frequent run-ins with law enforcement. Close plays the grandmother who helps raise him, dispensing her own philosophy while trying to keep the family together. Ron Howard directs, taking the reins of his first project since the seriously compromised Solo: A Star Wars Story. He's likely looking at his first Oscar nomination since 2008's Frost/Nixon.

Hillbilly Elegy opens in select theaters and premieres on Netflix on Tuesday, November 24.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.