Netflix doesn’t seem to be letting its foot off the gas when it comes to providing subscribers Oscar bait.
On the heels of “Roma” garnering 10 Oscar nominations, Deadline reported on Friday that the streaming giant will spend $45 million to make an adaptation of the best-selling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy.” This has the feel of another award-season contender for Netflix.
Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment obtained the film rights to the memoir in 2017, and Netflix has come out on top to finance it after a competitive bidding war. The $45 million Netflix will pay to make the movie is almost double any other offer Imagine got, according to Deadline.
Howard, coming off directing “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” will direct and produce the movie, which has not been cast yet.
The entire audience for this movie–and while I guess you could create a movie plot for this thing that is something other than The Fountainhead set in Appalachia but it probably won’t be anything other than this–is going to be white liberals who just don’t understand why THOSE WHITE PEOPLE voted for Donald Trump but don’t actually want to talk to them to find out. My favorite part of Hillbilly Elegy was being in a small disastrous town of 6,000 right in the middle of Pennsylvania’s part of Appalachia for the first half of 2018 and all my wife’s colleagues reading the book for this reason when all they had to do to understand the area was to walk outside and look around, maybe go to Walmart. J.D. Vance is a huge grifter with absolutely nothing to offer except right-wing pablum about bootstraps and cultural decline with all the authenticity for the region of a guy who grew up in the Cincinnati suburbs.
If this wasn’t bad enough, can just all be honest with ourselves and agree that Ron Howard is a terrible director? I mean, maybe his Arrested Development voice-over work makes up for all this, but he’s still an awful director of complete lower-middlebrow schlock. Some of his 80s comedies were solid for the time, sure, but he’s long moved into the worst kind of Hollywood blech. Of course, Hollywood loves that exact kind of movie, thus A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13 and Frost/Nixon, bloodless movies of a relatively solid production quality but all of which are completely forgettable and really offer nothing interesting. Of course, Ron Howard would direct this. Of course.
I just hope there is footage of Vance personally delivering human blood to his vampire boss. Because what better describes what Appalachians should aspire to than working for psychopathic billionaires?