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riggerrob

Film review "Hillbilly Elegy"

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Last year I read J.D. Vance's book "Hillbilly Elegy" and last night I watched the movie.

Main-stream critics hate the movie because it is a sad story. OTOH I liked the movie because of painfully realistic performances by Glen Close and Amy Adams. Close plays a profane, chain-smoking grandmother who struggles to hold her family together while Adams plays her heroine-addicted daughter who repeatedly loses control. Young J.D. is the grandson and son of these two fiesty women. The film is so well acted that audiences quickly get lost in the drama and family struggles. The film ain't pretty and it ain't polite, but it is well-done.

HE is an awkward portrayal of the white, lower-class voters who believed Trump's promises to "Make America Great Again."

When Amy is in the depths of her heroine addiction, she reminds me of all the Oxycondone that I chewed while staring at my infected knee.

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Dear ryoder,

I watched the film in a Canadian cinema. Sometimes Canada is a better place than the USA. With luck, the USA will improve to our level under their president-elect Biden.

Part of the reason that I was curious about Hillbilly Elegy is that I grew up in the North end of the Appalachian Mountains, just across the border from Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont .. and not too much farther from upstate New York. Many of my ancestors are United Empire Loyalists, Scots, Irish, Scots-Irish and Dutch who landed in New England hundreds of years ago. I wonder how my family avoided abject poverty while struggling to grow a living on soil that is not much better than soil in Southern Appalachia.

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Just watched this - really awesome performances.  I was at the edge of my seat, rooting for all the characters...  They weren't particularly likable but they were layered and very relatable.  So heartbreaking at times.  Loved it.

ETA - This post reminded me that I wanted to watch "The Wife" with Glen Close.  Oh my gosh...  I just finished it and it is AMAZING.

Edited by Nataly

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On 11/25/2020 at 7:43 PM, riggerrob said:

I watched the film in a Canadian cinema. Sometimes Canada is a better place than the USA. With luck, the USA will improve to our level under their president-elect Biden.

Part of the reason that I was curious about Hillbilly Elegy is that I grew up in the North end of the Appalachian Mountains, just across the border from Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont .. and not too much farther from upstate New York. Many of my ancestors are United Empire Loyalists, Scots, Irish, Scots-Irish and Dutch who landed in New England hundreds of years ago. I wonder how my family avoided abject poverty while struggling to grow a living on soil that is not much better than soil in Southern Appalachia.

you should read this review of the book/movie and how wrong the dude got almost everything.  i've heard so much negative about it that i cannot in good faith watch or read it.  the review does mention one good thing:  the guy didn't get it so wrong, what he did was take his own experience and apply it to all, even though his experience was the outlier and he made it seem to be the norm.  that is the biggest screwup, and now, everyone thinks it represents my home.  not even close, not to at least 80% of appalachia. 

you even noticed it yourself, that's how your family avoided abject poverty, it was not nearly so common as he makes it seem.

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Dear sfzombie 13,

I am not quite sure why you hate "Hillbilly Elegy" before watching it.

We all agree that HE does not describe every hillbilly family accurately. Every family is slightly different.

Yes, stereotyping is a risky pass-time. We do know that Appalachia has been plagued with "Hillbilly heroin" aka Oxycontin. Oxy is a powerful synthetic opiate that has ruined many lives and many families. I have consumed plenty of prescription Oxycondone, but weaned myself as soon as pain abated enough to let me sleep through the night.

Much of HE is about hillbillys locked into out-moded mind-sets and traditions: addictive drugs, blood feuds, multi-generation poverty, etc. Sorry folks, but the boom days of the Detroit auto industry are never going to return to North America.

These problems are not confined to Appalachia.

A big city like Vancouver suffers dozens or hundreds of deaths per year caused by impure street-drugs like Fentanol and Oxycontin.

Fentanol was a frequent head-line story until COVID hit Vancouver. Fentanol is still a problem ... just not Vancouver's biggest problem.

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i don't hate it as much as am sick and tired of outsiders coming into my home and writing about how it is without getting it right.  i have talked to several folks who have seen it and read many reviews of it.  these things do great damage to the area by misrepresenting what is going on.  this guy wrote a story that is causing lots of folks to notice, but they are noticing what he said, not what is actually going on.  policy is made by these folks to "help" us, and when it is based on false assumptions to start with, how much "help" do you think it actually does?

like the drug problem we have.  not only do we have big pharma dumping dangerous, addictive, drugs on us, we had a big pharma influence on the same doctors spouting off how we need to "manage pain" and be "pain free", then folks bought it and we ended up with a drug addicted population that is now strung out on heroin since the "legal" drugs mostly disappeared.

oh, and let's not forget the dirty politics rampant in wv since the illegal formation of the state.  our attorney general, an outsider from nj who couldn't get elected there, but had a lot of money, came down and took the job by sucking up to some power with his money and connections.  his wife is employed by big pharma and get this, he actually made decisions and policy in favor of said big pharma.  hell, they sued the epa to stop them from regulating clean air and water. 

i could go on all day about how much damage books and movies like this are doing to my home, but i think you get the idea.  i actually thought i could do some good, but damned if i wasn't wrong.  must've been under the influence of hope and ideals, not the reality we are stuck with.  i'm just gonna go back out to the country and make things.  you may end up seeing one of them one day.  i have this sweet idea for a helmet with the camera mounted inside so there are no snag points.  carbon fiber and impact rated.  hopefully, for under $200.

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(edited)
8 hours ago, sfzombie13 said:

i don't hate it as much as am sick and tired of outsiders coming into my home and writing about how it is without getting it right.  i have talked to several folks who have seen it and read many reviews of it. 

Oh my god.  Just watch it.  Or don't.  But if you don't, you're hardly in a good position to criticise it and pick it apart!!!  

ETA - you probably wasted more time writing that comment than it would have taken you to watch the movie...  Just sayin' ;)

 

Edited by Nataly

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13 hours ago, Nataly said:

Oh my god.  Just watch it.  Or don't.  But if you don't, you're hardly in a good position to criticise it and pick it apart!!!  

ETA - you probably wasted more time writing that comment than it would have taken you to watch the movie...  Just sayin' ;)

 

what does that do, when you watch a movie?  it supports said movie.  i am sure that you, like most of the rest of us, know that movies rarely get things right, and if you think they do, you've missed a lot of things and need to re-examine your threshold for accuracy.  first off, i am not supporting this idiot in any way, shape, or form, so i will not watch the movie.  second, i am not criticizing the movie or the book, i simply posted links to others doing that, folks who actually saw it, read it, and are professionals at reviewing said items.  i also threw in some supporting background showing how this is not the first time it has happened, nor will it be the last time some well meaning outsiders try to tell me what is wrong with the my home. 

they will also mostly be wrong, but it will also, just as it does every other time, cause a lot of folks to become interested in saving us, and hopefully not start any more bullshit programs to extract value from the region without doing anything else to help.  look up what happened here with the mined minds program to see how they continue to just come here to make money, then leave with nothing but empty promises and failed dreams.  it gets really discouraging and frustrating.  then to see another one profit from bullshit to make himself look good really pisses one off.  so, no, i will not watch this stupid movie, and neither should anyone else.  THAT, i can safely say without watching or reading.  enjoy the day.

 

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