I Saw The Light

I Saw The Light
Directed by Marc Abraham
Starring Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, David Krumholtz, Bradley Whitford, Maddie Hasson and Cherry Jones
In UK Cinemas May 6th, 2016

by Joanna Orland

I Saw The Light, or ‘Hiddles in a Hat’ as I so unaffectionately call it, sees Tom Hiddleston take on the role of Country & Western singer-songwriter Hank Williams.  It’s literally Tom Hiddleston in a hat with a slight American twang.  But, the actor’s dull portrayal of Hank Williams is the least of this film’s problems.

For a biopic about one of America’s great musicians, this film is flat.  The two-hour long movie depicts one event in Hank’s life after another, without a narrative arc or the depth to consider itself a character piece.  I may as well have read Hank Williams’ calendar to see what he was getting up to – it may have had more emotional impact.

The acting in this film is very monotonous and the accents from its two main leads (Hiddleston and Olsen) are dubious at best.  I couldn’t understand a word of what Elizabeth Olsen is muttering in her portrayal of Hank’s wife Audrey.  Hiddleston himself is fine but flat, sleepwalking his way through the film as the lack of story and character give him nothing to work with.  There are, however, a number of songs for Hiddles to sing his way through.  If the rumours are true and Hiddleston did indeed do his own singing, well this must be commended.  He doesn’t exactly sound like Hank Williams, but sure, he can sing.  While the vocals are strong enough to pass for an authentic singer other than Hank, the delivery of these musical numbers also falls flat.  It’s like this film was made by a director who had no passion for his subject.  Does Marc Abraham even know who Hank Williams is!?

I Saw The Light is a dull one note series of events from Hank Williams’ life.  At least Tom Hiddleston looks good in that hat!



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