Based on J.D. Vance’s #1 New York Times Bestseller, directed by Academy Award® winner Ron Howard, Hillbilly Elegy is a powerful personal memoir that offers a window into one family’s personal journey of survival and triumph. By following three colorful generations through their unique struggles, J.D.’s family story explores the highs and lows that define his family’s experience.
J.D. Vance (Gabriel Basso), a former Marine from southern Ohio and current Yale Law student, is on the verge of landing his dream job when a family crisis forces him to return to the home he’s tried to forget. J.D. must navigate the complex dynamics of his Appalachian family, including his volatile relationship with his mother Bev (Amy Adams), who’s struggling with addiction. Fueled by memories of his grandmother Mamaw (Glenn Close), the resilient and whip-smart woman who raised him, J.D. comes to embrace his family’s indelible imprint on his own personal journey.
The soundtrack features music by Academy Award®-winning composer Hans Zimmer and frequent collaborator David Fleming. The project marks Zimmer’s ninth collaboration with Howard, extending the legendary 29-year creative partnership between the two. Hillbilly Elegy premieres on Netflix and in select theaters on November 24.
Of the soundtrack, composer HANS ZIMMER says, “It was very important to us that the music helped tell the story in a way that embraced the culture and celebrated the grit and survival of the people at the center of the film, while not hiding the tragedy. We set out to make music that respected and honored what is at the heart of Ron’s beautiful film and we hope audiences can hear – and perhaps even feel – that when watching.”
“In the early meetings with Ron, there was a lot of discussion about the musical heritage of Appalachia, the instrumentation associated with the region and how best to use it to tell this family’s story,” adds composer DAVID FLEMING. “Hans cut through the specifics and used the phrase ‘emotional epic,’ which became the North Star for the two of us as we composed the score. Yes, this is a story about three generations of the Vance family, but we always kept in mind that their journey is a universal journey.”