claira curtis’s review published on Letterboxd:
Nowhere near as great as my original, pre-release expectations, but significantly better than I expected after the tsunami of poor ratings and reviews following its release.
I see where the more articulated criticisms come from and I do agree with them. From a performance only perspective, the film is a really solid showcasing of Glenn Close, Amy Adams, and Gabriel Basso’s talents. Close seems to have snagged the spotlight, a performance definitely worth praising, but I found myself most impressed by Basso. Maybe it’s because he’s younger and has less experience than his two phenomenal costars but I thought the film was a great introduction to him potentially taking on some bigger, more emotionally charged roles.
Overall, Hillbilly Elegy leaves me with a great sense of “eh”, meaning more than anything that I neither think of the film negatively or positively. I actually probably won’t think about the film much of all again, but that’s okay! It was fine while it lasted.