katrinaolson.ca - KO Review of CIFF 2015 Opening Gala Film: I Saw the Light

Posted on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 06:00 PM

Movie: I Saw the Light

KO Review of CIFF 2015 Opening Gala Film: I Saw The Light

Review by Katrinaolson.ca x CalgaryMovies.com

A KO Review written by Emily Mody

I was so happy to be invited to the Calgary International Film Festival 2015 Opening Gala that took place at the Jack Singer Concert Hall yesterday evening. The film that was chosen and screened for the opening was I Saw The Light directed by Marc Abraham. I Saw The Light is a film based on the true story of the country music singer named Hank Williams (played by Tom Hiddleston).

The story follows the rise and fall of Williams’ stardom throughout the 1940s and 1950s ultimately ending with his tragic death at the age of twenty-nine. I Saw The Light takes place in various cities across the United States as Williams’ success takes him to new heights. The story follows his first marriage to Audrey Mae Williams (played by Elizabeth Olsen), from the initial happy stages to the eventual end in line with the ending of his very successful career. The film was at times, dark and deeply troubling while other points were funny. The way that I Saw The Light captured me was through its authenticity. The film felt very true to life through the levels of emotion that were conveyed. It is also important to note that Williams deals with issues regarding alcohol and drug abuse so if any of this subject matter offends you, you may wish to avoid this one.

I felt that I Saw The Light brought out similar feelings that I had toward Walk The Line directed by James Mangold. The acting was really wonderful. Hiddleston played Williams exquisitely through his quietly honest portrayal of a man who was utterly overtaken by the fame he had received. Williams’ first wife and second wife were played by Elizabeth Olsen and Maddie Hasson who I both really enjoyed as well. Bradley Whitford, who played the character of Fred Rose, the publisher/songwriter of Williams, was also a delight to see in a more serious role because previously I had only seen him in more comical parts (ie. Billy Madison).

I Saw The Light made me feel pensive. As the film was ending I remember wondering what the message was that Abraham was trying to convey but then I thought perhaps, every viewer could receive something different from this film. It is not the destination of this film that conveys its importance but rather the journey or story that Abraham takes you through. Overall I would say that I did enjoy screening this film but I would probably not wish to watch it again. This is mainly due to the fact that I am simply not as devoted to country music as I know some of the audience members were and if I am truly being honest I had never even heard of Hank Williams until I saw the description for the film. I can, however, appreciate this film for what it was: a good story portrayed by good actors. The total run time for this film is 123 minutes.

Local Scene Event: Calgary International Film Festival 2015 >
CalgaryMovies.com's CIFF 2015 Coverage >

All photos courtesy of Bron Studios / RatPac Entertainment


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