Amy Adams and Glenn Close have been the perpetual bridesmaids in recent Oscars history, earning a combined 13 nominations with zero wins. But their luck might finally change with the intense addiction drama Hillbilly Elegy. Based on the memoir by J.D. Vance, this fictionalized portrait of a poor Ohio family in dire straits should be a major player throughout awards season. Vance's book received acclaim for its tale of breaking the cycle of poverty and addiction, but earned criticism for its extrapolated takes on economics and politics. The screenplay, by Oscar nominee Vanessa Taylor (The Shape of Water), should distill it into something more palatable for a wider audience.
Gabriel Basso (who hasn't made a movie since the dreadful Keanu Reeves-Renee Zellweger legal thriller The Whole Truth) stars as J.D., who reflects on his life while returning home to deal with a family crisis. Adams plays his mother Bev, an addict who has frequent run-ins with law enforcement. Close plays the grandmother who helps raise him, dispensing her own philosophy while trying to keep the family together. Ron Howard directs, taking the reins of his first project since the seriously compromised Solo: A Star Wars Story. He's likely looking at his first Oscar nomination since 2008's Frost/Nixon.
Hillbilly Elegy opens in select theaters and premieres on Netflix on Tuesday, November 24.