Movie Review: Four Good Days

We all probably knew that when the opioid crisis in this country hit its depressing highs in recent years that there would be many movies about this problem that would follow. The new movie “Four Good Days”, starring Mila Kunis and Glenn Close is another one of these movies and I thought the realities of this human disaster were very well told.

I recently discovered that Glen Close lost her 8th Oscar nomination last week for Hillbilly Elegy. While it is unlikely she will win a best actress Oscar for this role, it is still long overdue that she wins an Oscar very soon. Close plays Deb who is the mother of Molly, played by Mila Kunis – in arguably her most important role, as a seriously ill drug addict. One has to admire how bad Mila Kunis looked for this role, including some serious weight loss. Her face had serious marks, her eyes were dark and sunken and her teeth looked like they were rotting away. Like so many, her opioid and following Heroin addition came after a skiing accident where her doctor prescribed way too many pain pills. One of the most tragic parts of this National crisis is that doctors and drug companies are the most responsible for making the problem as bad as it has been. All because of the money. One of the most significant lines in this film was “Opioids have a 97% relapse rate“.

This story is all about Deb trying to practice tough love and Molly trying to lie and manipulate her mother in order to get more drugs, any way she can. We learn in this movie what we have all already known. The torture the parents and love ones go through to save their child is in many ways as bad or even worse than the drug addicts themselves. Deb’s new husband tries to help his wife to save herself, mostly to no avail. His attempts to use basic logic and common sense mostly caused huge arguments, as Deb lashes out at him to try and let go so much worry and frustration for so many years.

One of the best scenes in this movie is Molly’s speech to a high school class, trying to save them from the bad choices she made in her life that turned her from a straight A student at age 17, to a total disaster 31 year old. Molly’s drug addiction cost her custody of her kids and her marriage and for the most part probably ruined her health for good – to say nothing about her constant chain-smoking, that once again I found extremely annoying.

The title of this movie “Four Good Days” is about Molly’s challenge to stay clear for 4 days so a doctor can give her a drug that prevents any ability to get high from drug abuse. Molly and her mothers struggle to get through these 4 days is the cornerstone of this moving and depressing story.

From all of the movies about this level of extreme addition that I have seen in the last few years, the message has always been the same. The drug addict has to want to help themselves, because of they don’t, then nobody can help them. Any drug addict never has any right to drag their families down the drain with them. Primarily, you have to want to save yourself, you have to want to live, there is no other solution.

Due to the excellent acting in this film and the very good story, the idiotic 53% Rotten Tomatoes reviews are about the most absurd that I have ever seen. The critic Richard Roper was correct when he gave this movie a solid 80%, calling Mila Kunis acting the best of her career – a very accurate assessment. This is a solid story about one of the worst human disasters this country has ever seen, and it should not be discarded with a 53% rating. I give this movie a high 85% due to the acting performances and its message and I highly recommend it.

Netflix Movie Review: Hillbilly Elegy

Netflix Movie Review: Hillbilly Elegy

The new Netflix movie “Hillbilly Elegy” is based on the best selling book that was released several years ago, about a man who made it out of extreme poverty and being raised by a single mother who was a drug addict.

Despite a horrific start in life, the main character in this film J.D. Vance, played by Gabriel Basso became a lawyer and even attended Yale Law school after joining the Army. This is an amazing feat, considering how his life began, and his abusive childhood progressed.

This film has two well known actresses: Glenn Close who plays J.D.s grandmother and Amy Adams as J.D.’s mother and one of the best directors, Ron Howard. Despite all of this, including what I thought was outstanding acting throughout, the critics on Rotten Tomatoes are giving this very strong movie only a 26% rating. In all my years of comparing the opinions of critics, this has to be the all time champion in regards to a group of critics who have no understanding of the the quality and significance of a film. The only good news is that the audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes is a very high 89% – in line with the quality of the screenwriting and acting. A rating of only 26% makes no sense, expecially considering the critical opinions are so completely different than the audience opinion.

Anyone who has a background of poverty or near poverty will appreciate what it is like to live in a situation where there is no hope, no future and no chance. Perhaps the critics who reviewed this film cannot relate to the stark and depressing reality of many millions of people who in so many cases, need miracles to survive. With this story, the poverty also comes with extreme levels of drug addition, with many depressing scenes where J.D.s mother is either shooting heroin, taking pills or overdosing. All of this was well done and well acted.

I agree with the audience rating for Hillbilly Elegy of 89% and highly recommend this movie.