I Saw the Light

Rated 2.0

Tom Hiddleston Sings the Greatest Hits of Hank Williams Sr. If it were an album, no one would buy it, but that unappealing package is precisely what moviegoers are getting offered via Marc Abraham’s laborious biopic. Relegated to awards season backwash after lackluster festival screenings late last year, I Saw the Light slinks into theaters sheepishly and pointlessly, like a contender without a fight. Red flags are flown from the opening frames, as clunky fake-doc footage gives way to Hiddleston’s poster-ready pose in front of a mystical audience. It’s a big buildup to a big nothing. While Williams’ music still sounds great, and his influence on country and rock are immeasurable (he was the proto-rock avatar for living fast, dying young and leaving an emaciated, booze-soaked corpse), there’s not much meat on his life story. But that doesn’t stop Abraham from bathing the film in thudding portent and empty significance. D.B.