Oscar season, in the past as well as the present, is a time rife with biopics. If you're successful in telling a story based on history, you're part of the way there. Tell a story that's interesting to both voters and the world public alike, you're pretty much set for a nomination. But the cherry on top of it all is if you can do the first two set in the world of music. Films like Ray and Walk The Line have used this formula towards Academy Award success, and now the Tom Hiddleston-starring biopic I Saw The Light is looking to strike some Oscar gold for itself, with a release date to prove it.
Yahoo announced today that the Hank Williams film will be released on November 27th, just in time for families celebrating Thanksgiving to have something other than Black Friday shopping on their to do list. With Elizabeth Olsen, Cherry Jones, and Bradley Whitford filling the supporting cast list, I Saw The Light is already geared towards making its presence known to Academy voters, as the four named cast members for a perfect quadrant of acting nominations, with a Best Picture nod presumed to be the jewel at the center of the square.
While the obvious comparisons to Walk The Line could be made, the Hank Williams story seems a little closer to that of another music legend, Bobby Darin. As told in the Kevin Spacey biopic Beyond The Sea, Darin's legend was one of intense talent, coupled with bad life decisions and a fatal illness that haunted him to an early grave. Considering Hank Williams was an alcoholic who died at 29 due to complications of addiction and spinal bifida, all this film would be missing are some scenes of fourth wall breaking choreography to complete its pairing with the underrated Spacey picture.
What Tom Hiddleston's film has above Kevin Spacey's, though, is the transformation factor. Consider this: you're used to hearing Hiddleston's silky British voice loosing insults and dialogue like this from The Avengers. Keep that performance in mind, as you listen to Hiddleston's previous festival performance of Hank Williams' classic tune, Move On Over:
As you can see, Tom Hiddleston has already brought his A-game into transforming himself into a Country music icon. Now all that's left is to see how well he works with the rest of his ensemble, as well as the material at hand.
With a release date square in the middle of Oscar season, it's a safe bet to say that Sony is confident that I Saw The Light has the potential they need to make some box office revenue, as well as some much needed awards season waves.