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I Saw the Light 

Wednesday, Mar 30 2016

Marc Abraham's I Saw the Light is pretty, slick, and empty — three words that don't describe its subject, Hank Williams (Tom Hiddleston). Granted, Hiddleston-as-Williams is very easy on the eyes, but the film itself is the kind of paint-by-numbers biopic which Walk Hard rendered obsolete in 2007. (If you showed someone I Saw the Light and Walk Hard back-to-back, they could be forgiven for thinking the latter is a parody of the former.) Abraham's film follows Williams' career from 1944 through his pills-and-booze-fueled death at 29 in 1953. Major events and relationships over the course of a decade are zoomed through, particularly with Audrey (Elizabeth Olsen), his first wife and mother to his Obama-hating son. There are occasional mundane details that could have added up to a deeper view of who the man was — like Williams' tendency to put ketchup on everything — but nothing adds up, and the picture is like an EP of greatest hits rather than a comprehensive box set. A sing-along of the title song after his death comes across as particularly unmotivated, since Christianity never seems to factor into his life. It may well have happened in real life, but like so much else in the movie, it doesn't shed any light on who Hank Williams was.


About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly


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