The life of country music’s first superstar, Hank Williams (Tom Hiddleston), could probably make an interesting movie. If someone ever does, they should cast Hiddleston, who shines brighter than any other aspect of this by the book biopic. Like Walk the Line, Ray, Get On Up, etc., Williams battles drugs and struggles to balance love and stardom; unlike those other musical legends, who lived to finally, mostly conquer their addictions, Williams tragically died at the age of 29 in the backseat of his car.
Hiddleston warbles a fine impression of Williams on hits like “Lovesick Blues,” “Hey Good Lookin’” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” but the music scenes have little more energy than the airless drama between Williams and his wife (Elizabeth Olsen), mother (Cherry Jones) or subsequent women (Wrenn Schmidt and Maddie Hasson). Hiddleston will be the only aspect of this poorly told biopic anyone will barely remember.
Were this film released at the end of the year, Hiddleston would have a good shot at some awards love. But an early-April release of a severely average film from writer-director Marc Abraham (anybody remember his other directorial effort, 2009’s Flash of Genius?) guarantees Hiddleston will not be in the mix. One will see more of Williams’ light by skipping the movie and immersing oneself in the Alabama legend’s timeless music.
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