by John Tarpley
Without a doubt the most widely anticipated film at the festival, this biopic focuses on the mysterious final days of Hank Williams, when he hired a young man to drive his Cadillac from Alabama to Ohio and died en route. "Sparse and contemplative," reads the LRFF description of the film, "the story takes us inside the heart of a man who knows he's dying, and a dreamless boy whose fate seems already determined."
Henry Thomas, who most famously played Elliott in "E.T.," stars as Williams, while Jesse James ("As Good As It Gets," "Blow") plays the young driver. Both actors will be in town for Wednesday's screening along with Hank Sr.'s daughter Jett Williams, Thomason and "The Big Bang Theory" actor Kaley Cuoco, who has a small role in the film.
Even though Arkansas doesn't figure into the narrative, Arkansas native Thomason shot much of the film in the state with help from a largely local crew. There will be a Q&A with Thomas after each of the three screenings.
7 p.m. Wed., Argenta Community Theater ($100 opening night ticket, $100 silver pass or $250 all access gold pass)
8 p.m. Wed., Riverdale 10 ($50 pass)
3:30 p.m. Fri., Riverdale.