Tom Hiddleston may have taken on his most challenging role yet in his latest film, I Saw the Light. That's because the British heartthrob plays Alabama native and country music legend Hank Williams, meaning he has to mimic a famous person's mannerisms, speak in a distinct southern drawl, and even sing some pretty well-known songs. But Hiddleston was definitely up to the task, as many reviews of the film have praised the actor's performance as Williams. But regardless of Hiddleston's prowess in the role, Williams' fans are wondering just how how accurate I Saw the Light is.
Reviews of the film have been mixed, but much praise has gone towards the performance of Hiddleston (and his co-star Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Williams' first wife, Audrey), as well as the fact that the film does pretty much stick to the facts. It chronicles both the rise of Williams' career along with the collapse of his marriage to Audrey, and ultimately his life, due to heavy drinking. Yet while the movie keeps many things true, it also leaves out some important aspects of Williams' life. Variety notes in its review that some of the most notable moments in Williams' life, like his first meeting with publisher Fred Rose and the musical influence he received from Rufus Payne when he was young, are not depicted in the film. Yet of course, this may simply be due to the fact that one movie can't fit in every event featured in a person's life, no matter how significant.
But at the end of the day, it seems that the film is mostly accurate. I Saw the Light isbased on the book Hank Williams: The Biography, by Colin Escott, George Merritt, and William MacEwen. That 1994 book is considered to be the most accurate account of the singer's life, and the fact that the movie used it as a template should satisfy most fans of the late country crooner who are looking to see his real life story.
So both Williams' longtime fans and newcomers should be satisfied with the movie's take on the singer's life, and its determination to stick close to the facts.
Images: Sony Pictures Classics