Review: 'Hillbilly Elegy' Does Not Have Much To Say : Pop Culture Happy Hour The book Hillbilly Elegy was a phenomenon in 2016. Writer J.D. Vance wrote about growing up in Ohio and Kentucky, and about his family's struggles with addiction, abuse and poverty. He tried to both explain and critique the white Appalachian experience, to profoundly mixed reviews. Now, a film adaptation on Netflix sticks mostly to the dramatic elements of Vance's story, from his mother's battles with addiction to his path to law school. It's directed by Ron Howard and stars Glenn Close and Amy Adams.

Does 'Hillbilly Elegy' Really Have Something To Say?

Does 'Hillbilly Elegy' Really Have Something To Say?

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Glenn Close and Amy Adams star in the film adaptation of the 2016 book Hillbilly Elegy. Lacey Terrell/Netflix hide caption

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Lacey Terrell/Netflix

Glenn Close and Amy Adams star in the film adaptation of the 2016 book Hillbilly Elegy.

Lacey Terrell/Netflix

The book Hillbilly Elegy was a phenomenon in 2016. Writer J.D. Vance wrote about growing up in Ohio and Kentucky, and about his family's struggles with addiction, abuse and poverty. He tried to both explain and critique the white Appalachian experience, to profoundly mixed reviews. Now, a film adaptation on Netflix sticks mostly to the dramatic elements of Vance's story, from his mother's battles with addiction to his path to law school. It's directed by Ron Howard and stars Glenn Close and Amy Adams.

The audio was produced by Will Jarvis and edited by Jessica Reedy.