Dallas Movie Screening

Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
Earlier Reesa's Reviews can also be found at:http://www.moviegeekfeed.com

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Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Friday, April 1, 2016

I Saw the Light

Hiram King “Hank” Williams is regarded as one of the most significant and influential singers and songwriters of the 20th century. He had 35 singles that would place the top 10 of the Billboard Country and Western charts, and 11 that ranked number one. Director/writer Marc Abraham based his new feature on the book Hank Williams:The Biography by Colin Escott, George Merritt and William Mac Ewen. The film skips through Williams short career that burned fast but bright, highlighting his music and family drama only held together by a really great performance by Tom Hiddleston who nails Williams particular vocal inflections.

Hiddleston has that affecting twang and holds his body around that guitar shuffling from foot to foot. He manages to sing so much like that real Williams holding on to notes, then yodeling others. It's fortunate the filmmakers decided to include full performances that are usually truncated in musical bio-ops. Williams was some thing of a womanizer, boozer and drug user. But he quickly marries divorcee Audrey Sheppard (Elizabeth Olsen) who has a young daughter. Hank's mother Lillie (Cherry Jones) doesn't think anyone is good enough for her boy. The big upset is that Audrey wants to sing with the band but she is a bad singer. This causes some grief, but what really riles Audrey is not only Hank's cheating ways while on the road, but his increased addictions that he had acquired while fighting the pain of his chronic spina bifida occulta

Hank's goal is to make it to the Grand Ole Opry. He and his band the Drifting Cowboys play at road houses and radio shows which become very popular locally. He pays his dues until he gets a job with Fred Rose (Bradley Whitford) of Acuff-Rose publishing in Nashville. Rose later produces Hank's records and co-writes several songs with him. When he reaches his goal, the world opens up for Hank and Audrey as they are more financially secure. But Hank who stopped drinking when Audrey left him and got into a funk, is back to the booze and the women until Audrey has enough. He later gets Bobbie (Wrenn Schmidt) with child, but marries his teenage lover Billie Jean (Maddie Hasson). He eventually starts to self destruct his career at the Grand Ole Opry getting dismissed for unreliability and frequent intoxication.

The movie flits forward quickly between some of William's greatest hits, his women, his bouts of depression and binges. It's almost a Cliff Note version of his life without really giving any relevant insight into Hank as a person and how he managed to write some really great tunes. Hiddleston really inhabits Hank's quirks and eccentricities. The movie only lights up only when he's on stage playing his music. If nothing else it makes one want to listen to the original Mr. Hank Williams.
(Review by reesa)

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