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Review: I Saw The Light  

Hank Williams, a complete disaster of a person.

click to enlarge i-saw-the-light.jpg

Sandwiched between last month’s Chet Baker biopic Born To Be Blue and next week’s Miles Davis film Miles Ahead is I Saw the Light, which did a round on the fall festival circuit first. It stars Tom Hiddleston as Hank Williams, who in about a half-decade career managed to become an icon, despite—according to this movie, at least—being a complete disaster of a person. Hiddleston, who is a terrific actor and does his own more-than-competent singing, plays Williams from age 23 to his death at 29, which is a bit of a problem considering he’s 34. There’s never any gee-shucks youthful naïveté to him, except for right off the top when he giddily marries Audrey (Elizabeth Olsen, given one shrill note to play) in a gas-station ceremony in the pouring rain. All Williams wants to do is get to the Grand Ole Opry; by the time he does he’s a wreck. This is what happened and this is what’s true, but rather than focus on the art, Abraham would rather show you what a shit-show his protagonist is as opposed to creating the art we remember him for. It’s worth watching for Hiddleston’s performance, but Williams fans won’t find much to love.


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