Elvis is a film directed by Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) starring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks. On this occasion, a biopic about Elvis from a very different point of view. When it comes to Baz Luhrmann, we always expect something spectacular, especially when it comes to a musical theme.
Almost a decade after directing The Great Gatsby, Baz Luhrmann is back with a new film, this time about one of the greatest legends in music history: Elvis Presley. Music is once again one of the great protagonists of the new film by the director, who is also responsible for the award-winning Moulin Rouge.
Not Ansel Elgort, not Miles Teller, not Harry Styles. Finally, Austin Butler has been in charge of putting himself in the shoes of the King of Rock and Roll. And the first reviews are already praising his great work. Will this role earn him his first Oscar?
If you want to assess the result for yourself or for yourself, you should see the film. Next, we tell you when you can do it
The film Elvis made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival last May. To be able to see it in theaters, however, we had to wait a little longer. Specifically, its premiere is scheduled for next Friday, June 24, 2022.
Unfortunately, there are currently no official (or at the very least, public) plans to bring the new Elvis Presley movie to streaming platforms. However, it is quite likely that this will be the case shortly after the cinema projections end.
Considering that Warner Bros. Pictures are the distributors of Elvis, we dare to say that when he does, HBO Max will be the streaming service of choice. Then, all you have to do is open an HBO Max account, which is priced at €8.99 per month.
And what happens if you live in a country where HBO Max or the platform finally chosen has not yet arrived? Don't worry, in this case you will have to resort to a VPN connection that allows you to access content blocked in your country that is available in another.
The Elvis cast is headed by Austin Butler, in the title role of Elvis Presley. Actor Chaydon Jay also plays the King of Rock as a child.
Next to Butler, we find the great Tom Hanks, who in this case plays Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis's manager from 1955 until his death in 1977.
Helen Thompson and Richard Roxburgh take on the role of the singer's parents, Gladys and Vernon Presley, while Olivia DeJonge has the responsibility of playing Priscilla Presley, to whom Elvis was married.
The cast is completed by Luke Bracey, Natasha Bassett, David Wenham, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Xavier Samuel, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Dacre Montgomery, Leon Ford, Kate Mulvany, Josh McConville, Patrick Shearer, among others.
The biographical film reviews the most important moments in the life and career of singer and actor Elvis Presley. That means that we will see him both as a child and when he became a star.
Austin Butler is an American actor known for the series Zoey 101 and The Carrie Diaries, as well as for the Baz Luhrmann film Elvis (2022).
Austin Robert Butler was born on August 17, 1991 in Anaheim, California, United States.
This actor is known for teen series and got his first role (before he was an extra) in Ned's School Survival Manual series. It was in 2005. In 2007 he participated in the Disney series, Hannah Montana and, of course, from there to being a well-known actor there was little left. He then came to iCarly (another series) until he joined the Zoey 101 roster in season four.
For better or for worse, Elvis is a 100% Baz Luhrmann film: it oozes grit and passion for music, it doesn't hesitate to blend styles and embrace a tremendously kitsch staging, but it also has major narrative problems such as leaving the viewer exhausted after go through an eternal climax.
In short, it's a film that has trouble breathing because it doesn't slow down for a single second.
The most solid by far is the main interpretation of Austin Butler, a dedicated interpreter who, although he does not manage to metamorphose completely into Elvis Presley, lacks little. He really rises to that challenge, also singing 70% of the songs in the film.
If Rami Malek did a great job in Bohemian Rhapsody and Taron Egerton in Rocketman, Butler's is on another level, reaching Presley's hypnotic frenzy on stage and also showing his exhaustion and his wild babbling in his final stage. The evolution of his character is appreciated and the interpreter masterfully tackles the task. Minimum, Oscar nomination.
What else does Luhrmann do well? Pay homage to Elvis's passion and his origins. Show him declaring something as important as "rock and roll is basically gospel or rhythm & blues, or grew out of both" and his relationship with greats like BB King.
Therefore, making it clear where his musical affiliations came from, although it does not focus on his rise to stardom, but rather presents him first as a gifted musician who falls into the hands of an evil Parker, willing to squeeze love of the public for its star.
"They would have eaten it whole," he goes so far as to say, and in fact he sold it in many and varied portions for consumption as merchandising, as an actor, singer, and with all kinds of advertising contracts, televised specials, and even satellite broadcasts. Taking up to 50% of his earnings along the way, squandering his fortune with his gambling addiction and hiding his true identity.
Elvis is constructed, therefore, as a story in which there is a hero and a villain, the latter played by a Tom Hanks entombed in prosthetics who will go straight to your nightmares through his Mephistophelian court. The moment he trusts her with his musical career, he feels like he has made a pact with the devil.
Presenting the Elvis movie in this way brings with it an obvious problem: the hero has to shine and, although his weaknesses are raised, to a certain extent the most controversial aspects of his life must be covered and he must always be shown leaning towards sanctification.
Of course he was unfaithful, but he loved his wife. Sure he was ambitious, but for the good of his community. Of course he was leaving himself in the hands of a doctor who was killing him, but he needed to be on top of the wave.
In this way, everything is taken down a reductionist path: he was a victim of success, of those who abused his generosity and dedication, and the "bad guy" is singled out from the beginning to such an extent that he goes so far as to maintain that at 42 years old, he died of a heart attack from overmedication, exploitation or his unfortunate physical form but from the excessive love of his fans.
Come on, he's a villain through and through (Hanks's performance gives the chills) so radical that he "covers" any flaw in the lead.
Despite its two hours and almost forty minutes, Elvis tiptoes through certain milestones and stops as little as possible in his last stage, probably also one of the most interesting due to the number of contradictions he came to incur: He went from being an erotic myth to a guardian of morality, without going any further and a person sunk in dependency and loneliness.
In this way, we can say that it is not a biopic to use: it is quite far from showing all reality and focuses, above all, on that relationship of good against evil that even his own mother seems to predict before dying: that love kills.
Especially in a society in which the tone was puritanism and in which the provocative artist caused a furor (and opened public debates about racism or the expression of sexuality on stage).
His first movie was for Fox, Aliens in the Attic (2009) and he went on to work on shows like The CW Life Unexpected and (Disney) movies like Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure. He has one from Kevin Smith, Yoga Hosers (2016).
In 2008 he made his Broadway debut in The Iceman Cometh to phenomenal reviews. He appeared in the Tarantino movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019).
One of the most anticipated films of the year is Elvis, the biopic about the king of rock directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Austin Butler, which will be released in cinemas in our country next Friday, June 24. Its official duration is 159 minutes, but the Australian filmmaker recently revealed that it could have been a 240-minute film.
In a statement he made to the Radio Times, Luhrmann confirmed that there is footage of up to four hours that was shot for the film and that there are many deleted scenes that were left out, such as the music icon's infamous meeting with Richard Nixon, among others.
"I have a four-hour version, actually," Luhrmann said, clarifying that he had to cut it down to 2 hours and 30 minutes and that he "would have liked to lean more into some of the other stuff, because there's so much more." The Australian director clarified that he got to film things like "the relationship with the gang" and confessed that "it is very interesting to see how Colonel Tom Parker gets rid of it".
In addition, the Elvis deleted scenes also include "further exploration of Elvis's relationship with his first girlfriend Dixie," which would have further delved into how "once he's caught in a trap, and he's bewildered and He doesn't understand anything, and he has a hole in his heart, constantly searching and searching for love, finding it on stage but nowhere else."
Luhrmann also explained that he got to film sequences showing "barbiturate addiction and all that," and how he started doing crazy things, like going to see Nixon. "I had him there for a while, but there comes a point where you can't have it all, so I just tried to track the spirit of the character," he clarified.
Actors are overrated. And no, I'm not referring to the work of acting, which is an art. However, when it comes to assessing performances in the cinema, we too often forget how much of the credit for the performance goes to the director, who gives the guidelines: the script, which creates the character and his dialogues: the photography, which marks how we see the character; or the makeup and hairdressing department, which has just created the physical and visual aspect of it.
All this distribution of merits becomes even more unbalanced when the character to be interpreted really exists or has existed. So, the actor's challenge of creating a person who exists only on paper, his speech, his way of moving, etc., is limited to a simple imitation task.
And yet, there's nothing that gets you closer to an Oscar than a biopic. This year, in fact, we have seen how the magnificent Jessica Chastain, unrecognizable and buried under layers of makeup, took the statuette for imitating Tammy Fae in front of the creations of Penelope Cruz or Olivia Colman. Well, the other favorite was Kristen Stewart for, again, looking so much like Grace Kelly.
They wanted to give Rami Malek an Oscar since the first image of him dressed as Freddie Mercury appeared. In the movie, however, he didn't even sing.
With little dialogue, really powerful makeup, hair and wardrobe work, and all the great moments of the character in the film voiced by a singer, does Rami Malek really do anything in Bohemian Rhapsody that Carlos Latre doesn't do in a Tu cara me Sounds of the same budget?.
In short, what less than singing in addition to dancing to earn the interpretive merit embodying a music star. Taron Egerton complied, at least, with that part, although Rocketman did not find the musical epic that the reviled but talented Singer achieved with the Mercury biopic, and it was not a plan to win two such similar performances almost consecutively.
Now, however, Elvis is coming to the screens. Austin Butler, how could he be otherwise, will be one of the names in the pool for the big prizes.
But, to see if his merits are greater than being born with a physical resemblance to the Memphis legend accentuated by the production's hair and makeup department, you have to look at the voice, the dance and the song. Elvis, we've already warned you, is a much better film than Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, but for that very reason he doesn't bet everything on his main character showing off and making an Oscar career with it.
Baz Luhrman, director of Moulin Rouge or The Great Gatsby, is quite an author and has created a film to suit his baroque aesthetic where visual brilliance stands out, a frenetic montage and where the weight of the story not only falls on Elvis, but also in a bizarre manager played by a Tom Hanks more past laps than ever.
And yet, the best thing about the film is Elvis, and it is thanks to Butler. The script does not shine as it should not shine in a Luhrman film. Yes, the montage, the rhythm, the color do.
All at the service of the best: musical moments are where Elvis shines the most and he does it too because Butler not only talks and moves like Elvis, but he also sings like one. Austin Butler really sings in Elvis, it's his voice, trained (as we can see in the video above).
After all, the actor and model is also a singer, although he has never exploited that quality beyond teen products on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. With just as iron training to mimic his moves, Butler has become Elvis onstage, and not just because of a tacky suit and wig.When Michael Keaton was Michael Keaton and didn't feel the need to be anyone other than Michael Keaton, he made movies where he was: Michael Keaton.
In one of them, he was seen many times. In My Doubles, My Woman and I, Harold Ramis imagined the possibility of cloning as a remedy against the daily lack of time. And Michael Keaton, he was the lead, he doubled over and over again.
The problem, and that's where the joke was, was that every time he cloned himself from a clone he became a little more idiotic. And so on until extreme stupidity began to be confused with the most radical sanity. And then, yes, it was completely impossible to distinguish the authentic from the copy, the original from the cloned.
Austin Butler is not Michael Keaton, but he deserves to be. He was chosen, rather than more obvious options like perhaps Harry Styles, to give life to probably the most imitated character, therefore the most cloned, in the galaxy.
He is, in effect, Elvis in Elvis, the disproportionate film by Baz Luhrmann that is being released now and that returns us to the king of rock as if it were Michael Keaton himself. His recent appearance at the Cannes Film Festival crowned him, Butler not Keaton.
He does it so well, he moves so according to the pattern that the common imaginary has forged from the myth, that for a moment it seems completely impossible to distinguish the clone from the clone of himself that ended up being the pop icon of Memphis. Clone by clone, reclone, who would say the most idiotic copy of, again, Keaton.
The chronicles tell that Priscila, the widow, could not hold back her tears at the Grand Theater Lumière de la Croissete. They also say that she saw Tom Hanks - who in the movie plays the villain in the skin of the famous manager known as The Colonel - under an armchair in search of glory usurped by a newcomer. But that is another matter.
"She just wasn't ready for this. Every breath of Austin, every movement. it was his own spirit. If my husband were here today, he would look him in the eye and say, 'How dare you? You are me,'" the woman wrote somewhere.
Crying for crying, Butler himself, also cried. "I've lived with him for three years, so the feeling of doing him justice in front of Priscilla, Lisa-Marie, Riley and his whole family couldn't make me happier." Tear by tear, tear by tear.
If you look closely, Butler's is a clone's story of independence and empowerment. Until now, this 30-year-old man with carnally perfect features could proudly boast of being completely indistinguishable from anyone with a past that also referred to the Disney Channel (where he started in the shadow of Miley Cyrus); than to the magazines that shine (his long courtship with Vanessa Hudgens wore more covers than shame); than to expensive advertising (his watch also dazzles).
Of course, if asked, he would say that he wanted to be a feten actor and, probably on someone's advice, even he would say that he wanted to be Leonardo DiCaprio. At the moment, she has copied his fondness for much younger brides and now takes photos with Kaia Gerber, model, daughter of model Cindy Crawford and born a decade after him. That is to say, a whole prototype of a cloned biography.
And suddenly, everything changed. First it was Denzel Washington who appointed him to accompany him on Broadway in Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh. Then Tarantino gave him a couple of lines ("I'm the devil and I do what the devil would do") in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. And finally, Luhrmann, moved by the casting test in which Butler remembered that he and Elvis were the same age (23) when they lost their respective mothers.
Did the rest. And so, the clone managed to be much more than a clone (already announced in the next installment of Dune) thanks to being a clone of the most cloned character. Keaton, say something.