It’s entirely possible that Marc Abraham‘s I Saw The Light (Sony Pictures Classics, 11.27), the Hank Williams biopic costarring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen, will have its first peek-out at the 2015 Telluride Film Festival (9.4 through 9.7). SPC and Telluride have longstanding ties, and it’s already understood the SPC’s Truth and Son of Saul (which world-preemed at Last May’s Cannes Film Festival) will screen at that Colorado gathering. Or…whatever, it could also debut at the Toronto Film Festival. We’ll know on Tuesday when Toronto announces some of the bigger films on its slate.
I Saw The Light costars (and the off-screen entwined) Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen.
Andrey and Hank Williams with their two kids sometime in the late 1940s.
I’ve heard from a research-screening source about I Saw The Light, which apparently runs in the vicinity of two hours. Hiddleston is said to be strongly invested as Williams but Olsen’s performance as his wife and musical partner Audrey is said to be the real-stand-out. The second-hand source passed along adjectives like “unreal” and “scene-stealing,” and said Olsen could wind up as a Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress contender, as her performance is right on the edge between lead or supporting. Hiddleston and Olsen have been in a relationship since the film shot last year, but if she does indeed steal the film acting-wise (and again, this is just one guy talking so take it with a grain)…well, do the math. Hiddleston is no doubt expecting Light to be a major career-booster.
I don’t mean to sound like an asshole but I’m feeling a slight fatigue about troubled-musician biopics. We’ve just seen two docs about this situation — Liz Garbus‘s What Happened, Miss Simone? and Asif Kapadia‘s Amy, and it was just announced that Don Cheadle‘s Miles Davis biopic will close the N.Y. Film Festival. And now I Saw The Light — yet another saga of a famous, gifted musician who succumbed to booze and/or drugs and led a turbulent personal life. (Yes, Davis beat his cocaine problem but it also took its toll.) Light delivers an ummistakable echo of James Mangold‘s decade-old Johnny Cash biopic, Walk The Line. Both films share a simple declarative title with the same cadence, and unfold against the same country-music milieu.