Monday, March 21, 2016
I Saw the Light (2016) A Film by Marc Abraham
"Of course, this being a biopic in the most hackneyed mold, meaning one whose every scene is dictated by a slavish subservience to biography at the expense of psychological exploration or aesthetic experimentation, I Saw the Light also features various musical performances of Williams's most famous ditties. Some play out in Bible Belt recording studios, where typically cantankerous producers incite contractual quarrels, and others occur under golden stage lights, with hypnotized audiences singing along (look closely, though, and the extras in the crowd seem shaky on the lyrics). Rarely, however, does the film evince the pleasure Williams took in performing music. Whether he's scanning the auditorium for his next one-night stand, visibly fuming over a sarcastic remark delivered by a bandmate prior to the count off, or wading into cryptic pre-song banter while drifting off in a morphine-induced high, the performances scan as perfunctory stop gaps between the contrived depictions of a troubled man's descent into oblivion." Full review at Slant.