Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

I Saw the Light

I Saw the Light
Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen

Rated: R for some language and brief sexuality/nudity.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: March 25, 2016 Released by: Sony Pictures Classics

A vivid, committed performance by versatile U.K. thespian Tom Hiddleston (Crimson Peak, Thor: The Dark World) is wasted in a clichéd, muddled biopic of country music icon Hank Williams, perhaps considered the James Dean of the industry.

From the start of Marc Abraham's film it's certain that Hiddleston (also fine as a hipster vampire in Only Lovers Left Alive) can meet the demands of a part which can be chillingly affecting at times, especially in an enrapturing opening a-cappella musical performance.

The hackneyed nature of the filmmaking and script doesn't also help other determined performers like Cherry Jones, Bradley Whitford, David Krumholtz, and especially the tough as nails first wife done with brassy verve by Elizabeth Olsen. A far too short, messy life has some good interludes on stage and goes behind the scenes to highlight/checkmark the demons from whiskey and drugs. It just capture the beating heart of what made Williams really tick from his personal life and where his songs really came from. Not to say that the best parts of the film are with Hiddleston and Olsen, ala Walk The Line, but not much is truly seen in this Light when it really has trouble making much of a truly talented individual and an art form that defined and influenced generations to follow.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Matt Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
I Saw the Light        C-                     C- 

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