I Saw the Light lurks disappointingly in the depths of biopic mediocrity, as a clunky structure (with annoying black and white ‘retrospective interviews’) does no favours for a frustratingly slow-moving script.
Hiddleston is game as always, delivering a decent performance as Williams (including songs), but remains a left-field choice for such a legendary American performer.
A large chunk of the film busies itself with repetitive relationship drama between Williams and his unsympathetic wife (Olsen), as well as dates for multiple recordings and shows – there as a gritty reminder of destiny, but serving to simply overload the screen with dry facts.
I Saw the Light has a fascinating subject – Hank Williams charted 11 Number Ones in a life cut short by addiction at 29 – but still ends up rather a plonky misfire.
CAST: Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, Cherry Jones, Bradley Whitford
DIRECTOR: Marc Abraham
WRITERS: Marc Abraham (screenplay), Colin Escott, George Merritt & William MacEwen (book)
SYNOPSIS: A charting of the brief life and times of early Country superstar Hank Williams (Hiddleston) and those who would shape his legendary career and songbook.