From acclaimed director Baz Luhrmann comes Elvis (Austin Butler), the biography about the King of Rock and Roll himself. Told through the eyes of his on again off again manager Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), Elvis rose to fame in Memphis, Tennessee before taking the world by a storm.
Not only is Elvis one of the biggest movies of the summer, it is arguably one of the most anticipated of the year. When news broke that mostly unknown actor Austin Butler would be starring in the titular role, a lot were skeptical that he would be able to embody such a character. After hearing that the film received a twelve minute standing ovation in Cannes, I knew I had nothing to worry about.
Austin Butler was Elvis. You could tell that he endlessly studied the legend’s movements and mannerisms because they were completely down pat. At times, I completely forgot that I was watching someone else and was completely swept up in his performance. I truly believe he will be getting a lot of nominations within in the next year.
Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Butler’s screen partner in Tom Hanks. Usually a force to be reckoned with, the accent he put on for his role as Parker was distracting and not at all authentic. It took away from most of his scenes which was a pity.
Another downside to the film was the fact that instead of focusing primarily on Elvis, we experienced his life from the perspective of someone else. I’m not too sure that was the right route. I would have liked to see more inside Elvis’s head, especially since it seemed he was struggling with so much.
With that being said, Elvis is truly a spectacle. The way in which it was shot and put together is a sight to be seen, thanks Luhrmann’s signature style. The music was outstanding with many famous hits sprinkled throughout, but where the film really excels is in its lead actor who I simply won’t be getting over anytime soon.