It recently premiered Hillbilly, a rural elegy, film based on the novel by J.D. Vance, directed by Ron Howard and starring Amy Adams Y Glenn Close, actresses who have long been in search of the so precious Oscar, even though they have not yet gotten it.
Addressing issues such as poverty, racial tensions, latent homosexuality, slavery, mental illness, the holocaust, among other complex concepts, is not always straightforward. If it is not completely well worked it can cause rejections in several sectors, especially in those that are most affected by the issues themselves. However, if it is well worked, the production can be a relevant success and reach festivals, massive streaming platforms and even win awards. But it should be noted, once again, that when faced with matters of such complexity, one must always be careful and meticulous so as not to fall into the trap of hurting the viewer’s sensitivity or those on whom the argument is based.
When the poster of Hillbilly, in which it appears Amy Adams in denim overalls leaning against an old car and a Glenn Close Almost unrecognizable in Republican minister glasses and a non-ironic American flag supermarket T-shirt, he generated all sorts of jokes and memes. The trailer he presented Netflix A month ago I showed the child, the old lady who says apparently profound things, people crying and screaming in each dialogue. Some viewer reviews exclaimed that the “punished” hairstyles made the trailer look like a shampoo advertisement.
However, the harshest criticism came with the film’s release. The critic David Fear in Rolling Stone he raised that this could be called:
“A cosplay of poverty, a pantomime of what people derogatory call ‘white trash.”
In turn, criticism Alissa Wilkinson He openly exposed phrases such as: “the worst movie he has seen in years”, “strangely grotesque” and “the idea that a rich person would have of what it is to be poor.” The Playlist, which pays attention to auteur and indie films, also maintained an unfriendly stance, proclaiming it “the most shameless film of the year.” The review ends up calling the film an “absolute mountain of shit”, paradoxically raised with the Oscar request for Amy Adams, and not because he does it well, but so that they give him the long-awaited award and return at once to make more relevant content. At Vanity Fair they reserve the worst for Glenn Close, which they call their interpretation as “a disgusting calculation masked by empathy.”
Almost all of these criticisms focus on the artistic and script decisions (such as the ridiculous dialogue, the oversized T-shirts that the costume designers envisioned to “symbolize” the poor). Also, as part of an ideological bosom, Alonso Duralde in The Wrap exclaims that these people were not impoverished because North America has closed the industrial factories giving those jobs to people more easily exploited in another country, they are not ignorant because Reagan and his sons Spirituals did everything to destroy public education, there is no opioid crisis because the Sackler family got rich by flooding the OxyContin market; these poor people just stopped trying to be something better.
Sarah Jones, a journalist for Vulture magazine called the film: “Porn of poverty wrapped in a right-wing message about the cultural pathologies of the region. In Vance’s Appalachians, poverty and immorality intersect and success only leads to it happens to people who work hard. “
He also mentions that the film has notorious problems in the written novel. This is based on the real life of Vance, who was born among the Ohio Hillbillies. After finishing the navy and studying he became a successful investor, thus starring in the story of a social rise that refers to the American dream, in times where this phenomenon is increasingly dissipated. However, the conservative press welcomed him enthusiastically because they saw in him a promise of redemption for white America.
Everything that his book has caused in social terms was turned around with the film, which opens in the same year that it loses Donald Trump and the Oscar wins it Parasite. Introduce yourself with Hillbilly, a rural elegy Raising a trophy after such bad reviews can be like going to a picnic in a tuxedo. Despite this, no one rules out the possibility that he will win it, after all, in 2019 he won the award Green Book, a movie that tells of racism in much the same way as this movie tells of poverty in America.
Watch the trailer for Hillbilly, a rural elegy then: