Because Hollywoke no longer depicts — or even acknowledges — stay-at-home moms, I went for a Toxic Mother’s Day with Hillbilly Elegy. Ron Howard directed the movie based on J.D. Vance’s bestselling memoir about growing up in a backwoods family shakily headed by his dysfunctional mother and grandmother in Middletown, Ohio. Minus Vance’s superlative prose and insights, the film struggles to overcome a clumsy, pedestrian construction — all flashback and handheld camera work — with the benefit of exceptional performances by Amy Adams and Glenn Close in the tough roles of the two matriarchs. But as a storyteller myself, I find that the film’s contribution to the current political theater sparks my sense of irony.
Hillbilly Elegy tells the story of how young Vance at first suffered but ultimately escaped the frequent lows and occasional highs of poverty, classism, and maternal instability. His pretty mother, Bev,
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