I Saw the Light is also the title of one of country music legend Hank Williams’ best songs. Tom Hiddleston stars as Williams. He makes going from Thor’s nemesis Loki to lugging a guitar around look easy.
Williams had a brief but lasting impact on country music in the late 1940s until his death on New Year’s Day in 1953. Not familiar with the name? Hank is the grandfather of country music’s hard drinkin’ and my-baby-left-me songs. Later artists added pick-ups and references to the dog.
Hiddleston is pretty good in the role — and is a good country singer — but he has very little to do. Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers: Age of Ultron) plays the love of Williams’ life, Audrey. She, too, suffers from a lack of anything to do other than whine out her lines in a poorly-done southern drawl.
Little to do is easily explained when studying the singer’s life. Hank Williams drank, had affairs and battled the usual demons that haunt stars. Among them, fan worship that leads to self-absorption, drinking and drug abuse, and dying young.
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Williams’ music may have ignited the passions of fans and the generations of country music giants to follow, but his life was pretty boring. And then he died.
I Saw the Light
Director: Marc Abraham
Stars: Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, Cherry Jones, Bradley Whitford
Mr. Movie rating: 2 1/2 stars
Rated R for mature themes. It’s playing at the Carmike 12.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.