Hillbilly Elegy starring Glenn Close and Amy Adams

Hillbilly Elegy is drama film. The director of the movie is Ron Howard. It is written by Vanessa Taylor and based on the book by J.D. Vance.



Amy Adams as Beverly Vance
Glenn Close as Mamaw
Gabriel Basso as J.D. Vance
Haley Bennett as Lindsay Vance
Freida Pinto as Usha
Owen Asztalos as young J.D. Vance
Bo Hopkins as Papaw


The story follows J.D. Vance (Gabriel Basso), a current Yale Law student, who is trying to land his dream job when a family crisis forces him to return to the home. J.D. Vance is the youngest member of the Vance family. His mother Bev (Amy Adams) struggles with addictions.

Ron Howard discusses “Hillbilly Elegy” film

This was an utterly human story. There were cultural specifics, but primarily, this was about the fundamental pressures that almost every family in transition feels. It’s the story of J.D. finding himself, but not being able to do it alone. All of these women – his mother Beverly, his sister Lindsay, his grandmother Mamaw, his girlfriend Usha – factored into the process that eventually allowed him to self-actualize, without rejecting his culture and without rejecting his people. He grows from their strengths and overcomes some of their weaknesses.

Amy Adams noted that having access to the Vance family home movies and photos created an intimacy in the portrayal

It gave us the idea of how they held themselves, and what they wore. Bev liked her legs and the overalls were definitely a thing for her, and that particular look came straight from a family picture at a family picnic, so it was a direct reference.

Glenn Close admits to staying in character as Mamaw a little more often than she normally would.

I would find myself talking with the accent that we learned, and it’s hard when you’re looking like that, to be totally back to who you really are.

Release date

The film will be available on Netflix on November 24, 2020

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Jovin Tardif
Jovin Tardif is a freelance writer, storyteller, interviewer, reviewer and conversation starter.