I Saw the Light (2015)

R   |    |  Biography, Drama, Music


I Saw the Light (2015) Poster

The story of the country-western singer Hank Williams, who in his brief life created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music. The film chronicles his rise to fame and its tragic effect on his health and personal life.

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5.8/10
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  • Tom Hiddleston in I Saw the Light (2015)
  • Elizabeth Olsen and Tom Hiddleston in I Saw the Light (2015)
  • Tom Hiddleston at an event for I Saw the Light (2015)
  • Elizabeth Olsen at an event for I Saw the Light (2015)
  • Tom Hiddleston in I Saw the Light (2015)
  • Elizabeth Olsen and Tom Hiddleston at an event for I Saw the Light (2015)

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3 April 2016 | jen-lynx
7
| Some outstanding performances make up for a flawed film
The best part about going into a film with low expectations is being pleasantly surprised. "I Saw the Light" is Marc Abraham's biopic about country music legend, Hank Williams, starring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen as Williams' first wife, Audrey. I am no fan of country music, but I'll be honest, I am a big fan of Tom Hiddleston.

Despite living a very short life (Williams died when he was only 29), Williams managed to write and release dozens of hit singles and leave an everlasting mark on the history of music. "I Saw the Light" attempts to capture this short, but brightly burning star, in his entirety and in doing so, manages to miss on most everything. There is no denying that both Hiddleston and Olsen give remarkably nuanced performances and Hiddleston's transformation from English gentleman to smalltown Southern boy is nothing short of brilliant, but sadly not even their acting can make up for a poorly conceived and executed story. The story, while apparently linear, jumps from place to place, with little explanation, thus leaving the audience to try and fill in the missing pieces, which is an impossible task for those who do not know Hank Williams' life.

"I Saw the Light" is a flawed film from the structure, to the script, with some truly cringe worthy lines, to some terrible use of hand held cameras, yet I still enjoyed myself. Knowing that it was not a great film, I was able to just focus on what were Oscar worthy performances by both Hiddleston and Olsen. I left with little understanding of Hank Williams, but perhaps a better appreciation of his music. It was a fine way to spend a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. If you like Olsen or Hiddleston, it is worth seeing, otherwise wait for streaming or other media.

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