In this episode we compare the new awards-bait film Hillbilly Elegy to a more empathetic, politically conscious portrait of a mother struggling with addiction: Debra Granik’s 2004 debut, Down to the Bone.
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This episode features Executive Editor Orla Smith, Associate Editor Brett Pardy, and special guest Lindsay Pugh.
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Hillbilly Elegy (2020)
Ron Howard’s adapted JD Vance’s popular half-memoir, half-moralizing tale of his childhood. Young JD (Owen Asztalos) leaves living with his drug addicted mother Bev (Amy Adams) to go live with his grandmother (Glenn Close) who teaches him the value of hard work. As an adult (Gabriel Basso), Vance is a Yale law student trying to leave his hometown behind.
Down to the Bone (2004)
Debra Granik’s debut feature focuses on Irene (Vera Farmiga), a working class mom who also has a cocaine addiction. She checks into rehab, but finds little support from her work, community, and relationships in staying clean.
- Purchase your copy of our ebook on Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace
- Read Brett’s essay on how Debra Granik depicts white American poverty
- Listen to the first ever Seventh Row podcast, on Leave No Trace
- Visit Lindsay’s website, Woman in Revolt
- Join us next week for our discussion on Paddington
Where to watch Hillbilly Elegy and Down to the Bone
Hillbilly Elegy is streaming on Netflix
Down to the Bone is available on DVD in Canada and the US and on VOD in the UK