I Saw the Light

You really should see this film precisely because you are reluctant to do so. I think you will be a bit surprised.

I Saw the LightWhile Director Marc Abraham’s I Saw the Light is not a great movie it does have great moments. Providing the viewer with a quick look at the short, troubled life of country music icon Hank Williams, it allows Tom Hiddleston to shine in that role.

Williams died in a car crash in 1953 at the age of 29, and in a sense his life mirrored that of Janis Joplin. In five short years beginning in 1948, Williams had over 30 songs become national hits, selling over 11 million records. In a sense, his impact rivaled that of the Beatles in the 1960s.

Unfortunately, the trouble with Williams’ life is also the trouble with the film. While Elizabeth Olsen does a fine job as a wife who eventually came to hate her husband because of his drinking, philandering and refusal to involve her in more of his songs, the scenes of Williams offstage reveal little more than an artist who was quickly consumed by his own genius.

The value of the film, however, centers on many of Williams’ classic songs and the fact that Hiddleston actually sang them. His physical resemblance to Williams is shocking, and there are moments when you think that this film found a way to bring the old country star back to life.

Many of Williams’ songs such as “My Bucket’s Got a Hole In It”, “Hey Goodlookin”, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart” still have meaning to this day, and the reward from seeing this movie comes from enjoying the talent of Mr. Hiddleston. Many of you already know him for his sarcastic performance as Loki in the Thor movies, and it is worth hunting him down as the increasingly bored vampire lover of Tilda Swinton in Only Lovers Left Alive (2013).

While this film is not as good as Get on Up (2014), the life story of James Brown, or Trumbo, a film last year that resulted in an Oscar nomination for Bryan Cranston, keep an eye out to see if Mr. Hiddleston receives recognition for his singing. After all, how can a British actor with little singing experience be so remarkable at becoming a Tennessee boy from the middle of the 20th century?