By: Katie Geer
Hank Williams; one of the greatest musicians of all-time, selling more than 11 million copies. To most of the people who grew up with him, his songs relive the nostalgia feeling of their youth back in the 50’s, holding on to the traditional values that they grew up with. With such an icon like him, it would be hard to make a documentary about his life and his music into a balanced blend.
That was such the case here. Taking in plot, it was initially confusing and felt like there was more to be told, making it feel unsatisfying. For example, near the beginning, they started off with Hank sitting in the chair, singing one of his famous crooners. Making out to be a wonderful scene, it was never used nor explained, making the viewer wondering why they decided to use it in the first place. Another example includes the feel of the movie. Instead of focusing on the music that he produced and sang, they decided to be edgier and focus more on his relationships with his woman and family, along with his substance abuse. This move ends up causing him more harm than good. With the target audience mostly being older adults, taking on this edgier side to portraying Hank Williams will likely cost him some viewers.
Throughout these dark spots was Tom Hiddleston. Tom, who plays Hank, did a supreme job portraying him, both acting and singing. What made it even more impressive was that he was able to capture the spirit of his personality and his complex character, though he is actually British. Earlier during the production season though, there was controversy around him being picked for the part. Hank William jr.’s son, Hank Williams III, told newspapers that he was worried about him playing his grandfather, and thought that he should be played by an American actor instead. This is what makes Tom so great. He was able to prove critics wrong about him not being able to fit the part, and went above and beyond in preparing for this role. Another actor that did a fabulous job was Elizabeth Olsen. In her role as Audrey, she performed marvelously well and played up to her part as Hank’s wife.
Overall, this is a movie with great actors, but with a limited plot that actually works for them. I wished they would’ve taken a different approach into how they portrayed the country legend. Though this edgier side will attract some young moviegoers, especially those who want to see Tom Hiddleston, they will ultimately lose some of their audience due to this change.