In Brief: Hank Williams’ music may have ignited the passions of fans and the generations of country music giants to follow but his life was pretty boring.
I Saw the Light is also the title of one of country music legend Hank Williams’ best songs. Tom Hiddleston stars as Williams and 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 to his death New Year’s Day 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-up trucks and references to the dog.
Hiddleston is pretty good in the role — and is a very 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. The always hatted Hank drank, had affairs, wondered why those he loved left him, and he battled the usual demons that haunt stars of all sorts. Among them, fan worship that leads to self-absorption, drinking and drug abuse and dying young.
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.
Kind of like this movie.
Director: Marc Abraham
Stars: Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, Cherry Jones, Bradley Whitford
Rated R for mature themes, nudity. The Average Joe Movie rating is just 2 1/2 plunks on a guitar and a yodel or two on the 0 to 5 scale.
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5 to 4 1/2: Must see on the big screen.
4 to 3 1/2: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 to 2 1/2: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 to 1: Don’t bother.
0:Speaks for itself.
Gary Wolcott has been a movie consultant for KXL since 2014. A lifelong fan of film, he’s been a film critic in radio, television and newspaper for 25-years. Wolcott catches a couple of hundred movies a year and he sees a great many of them so you don’t have to.
Got a movie suggestion or comment? Email him!