If Sideways didn't exist, this would stand tall as Giamatti's finest role. This film is so indie, weird, impassioned. Michelle Williams works off Giamatti so well. Hawk Is Dying reminds me of Love Liza with Philip Seymour Hoffman. I'd be lying if I said I haven't watched this 5-10 times.
I enjoyed this film. It was at its best when the dialogue seemed to come straight from Crews' prose. Very good performance by Giamatti. And I liked the looseness and randomness of the editing in the last 1/3 of film. If not a great film as a whole, I do find the core story very interesting. DVD has great Harry Crews interviews about the creative writing process.