Amy Adams and Glenn Close are speaking out in defense of “Hillbilly Elegy,” a new film they star in.
The Ron Howard-directed movie was met with a slew of negative reviews following its release on Netflix earlier this week. The film follows a Yale law student who returns to his home state of Ohio where he contemplates his family generations and his future. It’s based on J.D. Vance’s book, “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis,” which became a top seller after it was published in 2016.
Reviews claim the movie falls short in depicting the working class. “The politically conservative, anti-welfare streak in the author’s writing feels surgically removed,” Rolling Stone’s David Fear writes, while The Independent critic deemed it an “irresponsible parade of death and despair.”
However, Adams, who portrays Bev Vance in the flick, called the themes of the movie “very universal.”
“Whether it be generational trauma, whether it be just examining where we come from to understand where we’re going and who we are. I think the universality of the themes of the movie far transcend politics,” the actress, 46, told the outlet.
Oscar-nominated actress Glenn Close plays Mamaw Vance. She said the film “wasn’t made with politics in mind.”
Howard, who has remained mum on critics’ perception of the movie, “succeeded magnificently to tell the story of a very specific family,” the “Wife” star added.
Adams went on to brush off those who have criticized the film’s intent.
“Everybody has a voice and can use it how they choose to use it,” Adams said.
The movie, which was first released in select theaters on Nov. 11 before its digital release on the streamer, received a Critics Consensus of 25% on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite critics’ harsh reviews — an article in The Atlantic dubbed it “one of the worst movies” of 2020 — Howard has responded to positive reactions from viewers on his Twitter account.
Howard, 66, was a successful child actor who found even greater success as a director. His films include “Splash,” “Parenthood,” “Backdraft,” “Apollo 13” and “The Da Vinci Code.”