Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of November 16, 2020

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of November 16, 2020

Hillbilly Elegy
Rated R for some violence, language throughout and drug content
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 29%
In theaters now, on Netflix November 24

Director Ron Howard takes on the novel by J.D. Vance which explores the life of a young man whose grandmother (Glenn Close) raises him while his mother (Amy Adams) struggles though her drug addictions in rural Kentucky and Ohio. From the get-go, this film takes you into the darkness of white rural America as you authentically witness a timeline back and forth between now, then and wayback in order to try to help you better understand not just how our storyteller got here, but how America got here. In the story, in spite of severe obstacles in his way, author J.D. Vance arose from his humbling circumstances to eventually get into Yale law school and a thriving career. But it’s a story that most kids don’t recover from and much of America deals with every day. Here it feels real and Howard carefully moves through the narrative in a way that explains the world J.D. is in without exploiting it. Of course it helps to have actresses like Glenn Close and Amy Adams who very realistically inhabit their characters in a sensitive and empathetic way. The end result is a tough film to watch, but one worth watching nonetheless. Why it’s getting bad reviews I have no idea. Perhaps many critics just don’t want to visit this part of our country’s failure. But personally, I have been there and deem it important to show the nature of the beast, and the hope of eventually getting past it. A-

The Last Vermeer
Rated R for violence, some language, nudity
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%
In theaters

After WWII, many important works of art surfaced after being acquired or hidden by the Nazi party. During the year following the war, artist Han van Meegeren (Guy Pearce) was arrested and tried for selling unknown Vermeer paintings to high ranking members of the Nazi party and this movie explores that complex and dangerous relationship between doing what it takes to stay alive during a tumultuous period and profiting from it. While a little hard to get into, the movie quickly turns interesting as you follow its subject down his dark path and possible road to salvation. Using the soldier responsible for the journey as the catalyst is a bit boring, but ultimately the narrative is compelling and extremely fascinating. It might not be for everyone, but if you are an art or history lover – this movie will hold your focus hard, not only for its historical significance, but also for its largely unknown consequential magnitude upon the art world. B+