Netflix’s Hillbilly Elegy: Amy Adams and Glenn Close are unrecognisable in the addiction dram

Netflix’s Hillbilly Elegy: Amy Adams and Glenn Close are unrecognisable in this addiction drama

Posted by for Film

Amy Adams gives the performance of her life as troubled opioid addict Bev in Netflix’s Hillbilly Elegy.  

It doesn’t matter if she’s playing a fish-outta-water Disney princess, a naive nun, a troubled linguist, or a criminal mastermind: Amy Adams is the sort of actor who steals the show in every single movie she’s in. Which is why it’s an absolute crime that, despite having been nominated for six Academy Awards, she has yet to claim a golden statuette of her own.

That could be about to change, though, thanks to her outstanding performance in Netflix’s Hillbilly Elegy (directed by Ron Howard).

Here’s what you need to know about the star-studded addiction drama.

What’s the plot of Netflix’s Hillbilly Elegy?

JD Vance (Gabriel Basso), a former Marine from southern Ohio and high-flying Yale Law student, has just landed an interview for his dream job.

But then, just like that, a family crisis forces him to return to the home he’s long fought to forget. 

Amy Adams Emmys 2019
Netflix’s Hillbilly Elegy: Amy Adams stars as opioid addict Bev in this addiction drama.

There, JD must navigate the complex dynamics of his Appalachian family, including his volatile relationship with his mother Bev (Amy Adams), who had him as a young teen and is still struggling with her lifelong opioid addiction.

Fuelled by memories of his grandmother Mamaw (Glenn Close), the resilient and whip-smart woman who raised him, JD comes to see and embrace how generations of trauma and resilience can define a whole family and a person.

Is there a trailer for Netflix’s Hillbilly Elegy?

Indeed there is. And Adams and Close both give the sort of raw, emotional performance that sizzles in the hearts and minds of an audience long after the credits roll.

Check it out:

Who makes up the cast of Netflix’s Hillbilly Elegy?

Adams, Close, and Basso are joined by Freida Pinto, Haley Bennett, Sunny Mabrey, Bo Hopkins, Tierney Smith, and Owen Asztalos, among many talented others.

What has JD Vance said about Netflix’s Hillbilly Elegy?

For those who don’t know, Hillbilly Elegy is an adaptation of the real-life Vance’s bestselling memoir of the same name.

Admitting that it was “very emotional” to see his family’s story brought to life on screen, Vance told The Dispatch that he watched the movie with his mother.

“There was some debate about whether she would watch it by herself. Finally, she wanted to watch it with me, and we watched yesterday,” he said.

“I really started to appreciate the professionalism of these actors. Amy [Adams] spent a lot of time with my mom, who was very apprehensive about how she would be portrayed. Ultimately, she got comfortable with it – in part – because of Amy’s approach which gives [the audience] the woman, the story.

“It wasn’t that mom was a bad person. She was a person who went astray in important ways and, and kind of really struggled to find her way back to the straight and narrow.”

When will Hillbilly Elegy be available to stream on Netflix?

Hillbilly Elegy will hit select cinemas in November before becoming available to stream on Netflix from 24 November.

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Images: Netflix

Share this article

Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

Recommended by Kayleigh Dray