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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Like most biopics about musicians, this one warns viewers about the pitfalls of fame -- i.e. the easy access to drugs, alcohol, and women; money problems; losing friends; etc.
Positive Role Models
Though Williams is shown to be a talented musician who becomes famous and makes people happy, he seems to be unhappy much of the time, taking solace in women and alcohol, losing his friends and loved ones, and dying young.
Violence & Scariness
Brief bar fight. Arguing. Main character with terrible pain. Character shoots targets with a gun.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Williams is said to have many sex partners, including affairs while he's married. (He marries twice during the story.) Intimate scene of kissing and foreplay between a married couple. Topless scene.
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Uses of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "son of a bitch," "hell," "damn," and "piss," as well as "Jesus" (as an exclamation).
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Williams drinks frequently and appears to be an alcoholic. He quits several times and seeks treatment (a painful detox sequence is shown) but always starts back up again. Frequent cigarette smoking. Character on morphine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that I Saw the Light is a biopic about country music legend Hank Williams (Tom Hiddleston). The movie covers Williams' frequent drinking; he makes several attempts to quit (a painful detox scene is shown), but it doesn't take. There's also frequent cigarette smoking and a scene of a character on morphine. Williams is shown enjoying the company of many women, even when he's already married. There's an intimate scene of kissing and bedroom play with his wife, and another scene with a topless woman. Language is fairly strong, with multiple uses of "f--k," "s--t," and "bitch." A brief bar fight is shown, as is arguing and a character with awful back pain. In one scene, a character uses a gun to shoot at targets. Like most music biopics, the movie is a warning against the pitfalls of fame and success; it's pretty routine, but it does feature a strong lead performance and great music. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This biopic about country legend Hank Williams is pretty much the same as any other biopic from the last 20 years, with a strong central performance, a surface-level story, and a series of cliches. Your appreciation of I SAW THE LIGHT will depend on, for you, how much the great music overrides the lengthy yet shallow depictions of alcohol abuse, financial arguments, creative control clashes, extramarital activities, life on the road, divorce, new love, and hospital stays/doctor visits.
Hiddleston, who's English but uses an Alabama accent here and does his own singing, is quite extraordinary, capturing Williams' soul. And Olsen has some strong scenes as Hank's first wife. But overall, even though Williams only lived to age 29, the movie covers too much material and generally skims the surface. Sill, the performances are electric and more or less worth the price of admission.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.