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I Saw the Light


Stars: Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, Bradley Whitford, David Krumholtz, Cherry Jones, Maddie Hasson, Wes Langlois

Director: Mark Abraham

It's not necessary to be a country music addict to appreciate Tom Hiddleston’s extraordinary, award-worthy portrait of country legend Hank Williams which raises I Saw the Light far above its essentially by-the-numbers biopic tropes and clichés.

Hiddleston not only has Williams’ Alabama accent down pat (a cause of praise on its own) and creates his increasingly conflicted persona with utter credibility but, extraordinarily, sings Williams’ songs convincingly, no mean feat for the London-born actor and more than compensates for the pointless and pretentious piece that was Exhibition.

Elizabeth Olsen skillfully portrays Williams’ first wife Audrey who seeks fame but lacks the talent to achieve it and the other roles are competently filled but the triumph is essentially Hiddleston’s.

Let’s hope he doesn’t end up serving up stunts and sneers as the next 007. He is worth much more than that.

Alan Frank

USA 2015. UK Distributor: Sony. Colour.
118 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 2, Swearing 2.

Review date: 15 Sep 2016

DVD review