Review: Elvis

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ELVIS (2022)

An absolute spectacle on every level, Elvis is a film that is elevated by the inspired performance of Austin Butler and the stylings, although sometimes crazy, of Bay Luhrmann. 

Told through the perspective of his longtime manager Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), Lurhmann’s biopic charts the major moments of the young singer’s life with a pizazz expected of the talented director and a spirited tale worthy of Elvis’ larger-than-life celebrity. Luhrmann is not a director for everyone; his bombastic delivery of his films often turns people away. Here, the hallmarks of his films are present, but his imprint isn’t overwhelming; everything he touches compliments the energy of the film’s subject. From the musical moments to the deeply intimate look at his darkest times, Elvis hits all of the right notes. All of this while serving a subplot that addresses the issues of racial segregation and integration that plagued the times, which Elvis was aware of as he contemplated his own morality.

Butler is the true standout, a spectacular win in casting that is sure to catapult him into the Oscar conversation (rightfully so). While some may be turned off by Hanks portrayal of the opportunistic manager, I found it inspired and well-delivered by one of the best actors of our time. There is an emotional undercurrent to the film that would have fallen flat if not for the inspired performances from start to finish, including Olivia DeJonge as Priscilla, an absolute powerhouse in ever scene. 

Elvis is a movie that can’t be missed, one that truly honors the man at its center while delivering one hell of an experience for audiences.

Elvis is now playing everywhere.

Rating: 5/5

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