My Review Baz Lurhmann's - Elvis
My Rating 7.5 /10
10/10 for Austin Butler's portrayal as Elvis
Elvis has the Baz Lurhmann brand all over it as it's bound to seeing Baz wrote the story as well as Directed and Produced the movie . Whether that's a good thing or not I'm not so sure but top marks for his choice of Austin Butler to play the title role of Elvis Presley.
Austin Butler had big shoes to fill and Elvis fans won't be disappointed as he portrays the iconic singer over more than 20 years of his life covering the 50s, 60s, and 70s, eras from his childhood and meteoric rise to stardom to his long, slow decline.
This biographical movie unlike the 2019 movie Judy I'm pleased to say covers the good years as well as the sad years when Elvis left us tragically aged only 42 under identical circumstances to Judy Garland who was 47.
Both stars burnt out prematurely both were exploited but their fame and legacy of music and film footage will live on for centuries as they are both true historical cultural icons.
Austin Butler really does hold the entire movie together for me he gives much more than an Elvis impersonation which so many performers have done before.
At times and at certain camera angles Austin Butler looks uncannily identical to Elvis Presley and he sings the early Elvis songbook in his own voice to perfection. Austin's voice is only blended with Elvis's own voice in the later Las Vegas years .
Many other actors in addition to Austin Butler auditioned for the role including Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Harry Styles but the right choice to play Elvis certainly was Austin Butler in my opinion.
Unlike Rami Malik who played Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody and had the Freddie Mercury teeth he wore cast in gold , Austin Butler's transformation really just relies on eye make up ,hairstyle and the tight pants and flamboyant shirts and capes that Elvis wore during his performances.
I'm certain Austin Butler's performance is what prompted the Elvis movie to receive a 12 minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival last month. Rami Malik received an Oscar and lip synched the songs so Austin Butler who sings in his own voice should at least get a Best Actor Oscar nomination in 2023.
There were positives I liked in Baz Luhrmann's Elvis and negatives as much as I admire Tom Hanks as an Actor the role of Colonel Tom Parker who is the storyteller through whose eyes we see the rise and fall of The King of Rock is a despicable and ugly character . While of course he is a central character in the Elvis Presley story I felt telling the story through such an unsympathetic character was unnecessary and I found Tom Hanks Dutch accent and his prosthetic nose a little irritating at times.
The Cinematography by Mandy Walker is stunning as are the costumes by Baz Luhrmann's 4 time Academy Award winning wife Catherine Martin .
All biography movies stretch or modify the facts to a certain extent to add more dramatic content and while this story is reasonably accurate Baz has used some poetic licence in some scenes . The emotional meeting of Elvis and the Producer Steve Binder of his 1968 Christmas comeback show at the iconic rusting L. A. Hollywood sign never happened but it's effective.
The opening introduction scene of Colonel Tom Parker discovering Elvis at the Carnival which I'm sure was inspired by Guillermo del Toro's recent movie Nightmare Alley also never occurred. World events of that time are used as a timeline like the assassination of Bobby Kennedy during taping of an Elvis television show also are fiction but it does add drama to the script.
There's also a silly hysterical scene where an entire Christmas snow set is built to convince The Colonel that Elvis was going to sing Here Comes Santa Claus in his 1968 comeback show this also apparently was a complete fiction as was the fact that Elvis was persuaded by Parker to enlist in the army rather than being arrested for his suggestive stage gyrations. Elvis did not enlist he was drafted and surrounded by the media when he entered the Army in March 1958.
Those who love Showman Baz Luhrmann's flamboyant highly individual directing style I'm sure will love Elvis I enjoyed it but didn't love it.
The supporting cast that includes Olivia De Jonge as Pricilla Richard Roxburgh as Vernon Presley Helen Thomson as Gladys and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Jimmie Rodgers Snow are all good but in my view could have been featured more .
I personally think he lacks subtlety and while putting on a great show his script in this case focuses to much on the character of Colonel Tom Parker and as I recently referred to heroes as main characters in stories Colonel Tom Parker was no hero. Colonel Tom reminds me more of Rumpelstiltskin in more ways than one Elvis turned the straw that Colonel Tom Parker gave him into gold and like the Princess in the Grimm's Fairy Tale sadly Elvis paid a very high price.
Biography / Drama / Music
Biography / Drama / Music
Elvis follows the story of infamous rock 'n' roll star Elvis Presley seen through the eyes of his controversial manager Colonel Tom Parker. The film explores Elvis Presley's highs and lows and the many challenges and controversies he received throughout his career.
September 02, 2022 at 04:44 PM