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This time of year we'd normally be looking forward to the big movies that tend to come at the end of the year looking for big awards. While it's easy to write off the "awards bait" films, they frequently do include strong performances in dramatic stories. And while this year is certainly going to be very different when it comes to awards season, many of these movies, especially those that were planned for streaming releases, are still coming out. One such project, Ron Howard's Hillbilly Elegy, isn't getting the love from critics that many were perhaps expecting, but that love is certainly still coming from the audience.
While Hillbilly Elegy's critical response has been more than a little rough, the audience is certainly here for the film, as the movie recently became the number one item being viewed on Netflix in the U.S. The praise has also been coming directly to Ron Howard from fans on social media, and he's thanking them for their support.
Ron Howard has been responding to a lot of individual comments sent his way by those that loved Hillbilly Elegy. Even if he's responded to every single comment that he's received, which seems unlikely, there are a lot more people who were at least interested in seeing the film as it's at the top of the Netflix charts. True, Netflix doesn't require viewers to watch all, or even most, of a movie for it to count in the viewership numbers, but people are certainly interested enough to give it a look.
And the fan response is important because, as mentioned earlier, the critical response hasn't been strong. The movie only has a 25% score on Rotten Tomatoes, though the audience score is a lot higher, which shows that most of those watching on Netflix are enjoying the film.
If there's one place where fans and critics do seem to be in some agreement, however, it's in the performance of Glenn Close. Even among many of the negative reviews, Close frequently got singled out for her strong performance, and the fans are doing the same. As in Ron Howard for that matter.
One of the issues many critics had with Hillbilly Elegy was based in the fact that the source material, the memoir the movie is based on, is something of a divisive piece of writing, but for those that enjoyed the book, some at least think the movie is that rare animal that surpasses the book.
Hillbilly Elegy is certainly one of those movies that fans like a lot more than critics. There's really no shortage of those. Hillbilly Elegy is available on Netflix now.