I Saw the Light (2015) Rated R

I saw the light

The story of Hank Williams’ short life, including his rise to fame and the impact it had on his health. Based on the book, Hank Williams: The Biography by Colin Escott, George Merritt, and William MacEwen. Starring Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, Bradley Whitford, Cherry Jones, David Krumholtz.

This film leaves a lot to be desired. I think the biggest flaw was that it tried to take on too much of Hank Williams’ life. It was like a fast-forwarded video of his life, as the film raced from one big event to the next. Williams was a colorful character who experienced many hills and valleys in his lifetime.  He had 35, top 10 singles in the Billboard Country & Western charts- all by the time he was 29 years old. His songs still play on the radio to this day.

Born with spina bifida occulta, Williams had a tough childhood while being raised by a single parent.  His medical condition caused terrible back pain which contributed to his dependence on and abuse of alcohol and drugs.  Married twice and prone to having affairs, he struggled to find a solid path to walk on.

His fascinating life just didn’t translate well into this movie.  Hiddleston and Olsen gave great performances, but the movie was just too rushed to fully appreciate all that Williams’ was; they didn’t even bother to show his death.  It’s not worth a watch.

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