It's tough to get a movie biography right, to find a way to make the messy facts of someone's life as compelling as fiction Last year, the did it in Steve Jobs, condensing the material into three key moments in its subject's career that charted his personal and professional evolution.
Then there's I Saw The Light, the biographical drama about legendary country singer-songwriter Hank Williams. Writer-director Marc Abraham doggedly trots out the facts of Williams' astonishingly short, and yet productive life (36 hit songs before his death at age 29).
|Hiddleston in action.|
But the material is presented without much insight, and the storytelling feels flat. It's like watching somebody else's home movies—interesting for awhile, but not personally involving.
Abraham never uncovers the person behind the image; he's content to stick with the persona of the raw talent living the self-destructive honky-tonk life.
Fortunately, the film stars the highly watchable Tom Hiddleston, the accomplished British thesp best known to movie audiences as Loki in the Thor franchise. He may not be the first person you'd think of to play Alabama-born, proto-rockabilly crooner Williams, but Hiddleston has presence to burn, and he looks great in a cowboy hat.
He even does his own singing. With a fresh, honest approach that doesn't try to imitate Williams, Hiddleston sells the music with his laid-back demeanor and killer grin. (Read more in this week's GT)