Almost 45 years after the death of the king of rock and roll and the very first cinematic biopic of his life has finally arrived. Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley film premiered at Cannes today to critical acclaim. Here’s what they had to say about the new movie starring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks.
A sparkling, delirious, mischievous and compulsively watchable 2 hour and 39 minute fever dream – a reel of a movie that converts the Elvis saga we all carry around in our heads into a lavishly staged biopic-as-pop-opera .
Luhrmann’s colorful house style may be frenetic and superficial, but his desire to spin our knickers, here, seems urgent. It’s the most substantial thing he’s done since Romeo + Juliet.
Butler nails the moves, mannerisms, soulful voice and even channels the icon’s charisma. When the girls scream at him in the movie’s electrifying musical sequences, you wonder how much action it took
While you won’t find much truth in Baz Luhrmann’s dramatization of his cradle-to-grave life, the Australian filmmaker delivered something much more compelling: an American fairy tale.
It’s the most impeccably styled and flashy thing you’ll see all year, and all the more fun.
You can’t help but fall in love with this shake, rattle and roll through the life of the biggest star the world has ever seen.
Luhrmann was never an accomplished playwright. He has the instinct of a pop video supremo. And in the god of pop Elvis Presley, he may have found his perfect subject.
Los Angeles Time
Complaining that “Elvis” is essentially a compilation of biographical musical conventions is a bit like complaining about a greatest hits album; also missing… [Luhrmann’s] ability to imbue shots with sincerity, energy and sentiment.
At times, Elvis feels like a lost Oliver Stone movie from his audacious 1990s heyday: a full-scale exploration of debauched American appetites.
There’s enough energy and flash…to overcome most fussiness, and Butler launches into a performance that’s extremely physical but never cartoonish or disrespectful.
The Hollywood Reporter
If the writing too rarely lives up to the astonishing visual impact, the director’s affinity for his showman subject is both contagious and exhausting.
Baz Luhrmann’s traditional but terrifyingly enjoyable “EP” biopic has poise to spare, and a star-studded central performance from Austin Butler as the undisputed king of rock ‘n’ roll.
Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis is a wild ride clearly made with great love for its subject, and that zeal to capture Presley’s humanity, by both its director and its star, ultimately outweighs the excesses and shortcomings of the film.
DO NOT MISS
Death of Elvis Presley: Graceland upstairs still ‘as he left it’ [ELVIS DEATH]
Elvis ex Linda Thompson recalls webbed toes and King’s bedroom secrets [LINDA THOMPSON]
Elvis wedding: Last-minute snub enraged Memphis mob members [ELVIS WEDDING]
Inquisitive but frenetic, Luhrmann’s epic is wrong – and Austin Butler is wading in these blue suede shoes
He finds so little reason for Presley’s life to be the stuff of a Baz Luhrmann movie that the equation eventually reverses, leaving us with an Elvis Presley movie about Baz Luhrmann. They both deserve better.
Elvis hits UK cinemas on June 24, 2022.