Ethan Hawke’s considerable gifts as an actor—sensitivity, imagination, empathy—are all evident in this directorial effort, an ambitious, nonchronological biopic of little-known country singer Blaze Foley. Set mostly in the 1980s, the film centers on Foley’s volatile relationship with his wife, actress Sybil Rosen (who wrote the memoir on which this is based and collaborated with Hawke on the script), though it also devotes much attention to his creative process and life on the road, providing a vivid sense of what it’s like to be a struggling musician. Newcomer Ben Dickey is remarkable as Foley—he conveys the singer’s self-destructiveness but without letting that overwhelm his charisma and gentleness—and Alia Shawkat, playing Rosen, is just as good. As in his documentary Seymour: An Introduction (2014), Hawke argues movingly that creative success has nothing to do with fame and everything to do with how an artist grows as a person and impacts the people around him.