Leon van Nierop
1 minute read
24 Jun 2016
1:21 pm

‘I Saw The Light’ movie: Sex, drugs and country!

Leon van Nierop

Country-and-western star Hank Williams’s talent and short-lived career are methodically brought to life.

IN LOVE. Elizabeth Olsen and Tom Hiddleston. Picture: Sam Emerson

It is ironic that many young filmgoers only know about the existence of one of Britain’s (now America’s) finest actors, Tom Hiddleston, wowing the audience on TV in The Night Manager because of his rumoured romance with Taylor Swift.

Go figure! But he’s brilliant as Hank Williams, one of America’s foremost country-and-western stars of the 1950s. His laid-back technique, the way he effortlessly slides under the skin of this tormented muso, along with his vocal performances, have ensured him an Oscar nomination. But those ogling the Independence Day franchise might fall asleep after 10 minutes because there are no bombs exploding or dripping tentacles.

The explosions are in the dialogue, the painful history of a doomed singer and his excessive womanising and prescription drug abuse. Marc Abraham’s tale is therefore gentle, deliberately slow, stylish and authoritative. He doesn’t create drama where there isn’t any. He methodically explores Hank’s process of self-annihilation and self-destruction, while celebrating his talent and short-lived contribution to music.

If you like respectable biopics and meticulously directed art films, this one will captivate and give you a better understanding of the perils of fame. Recommended.


I Saw The Light

  • Cast: Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen
  • Director: Marc Abraham
  • Classification: 13LSD

Watch trailer: