Posts Tagged ‘Kelvin Harrison Jr’

Reaching for Eternity

Elvis

Director: Baz Luhrmann

Cast: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Olivia deJonge, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kelvin Harrison Jr, Luke Bracey, Dacre Montgomery

Running Time: 2 hours and 39 Minutes

Film Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Outlandish Australian director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, Romeo and Juliet) returns to the big screen after a nine year hiatus after 2013’s The Great Gatsby, with a brittle and glitzy biopic of the King of Rock n Roll, Elvis Presley simply entitled Elvis starring an incredible Austin Butler in the title role opposite two time Oscar winner Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, Forrest Gump) as his shady business advisor Colonel Tom Parker.

In a similar vein to Rami Malek’s transformative performance as Freddie Mercury in 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody, American star Austin Butler (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) does a superb job portraying Elvis Presley from the incredibly gifted singer who transforms into the most legendary musical performer of all time who combined expert showmanship with extravagant costumes and lewd gyrations of his pelvis much to the delight of his infinite female fans.

Elvis Presley was the original rock star before all the other rock stars came along in the 1980’s, he was the trailblazer, the film star and unbelievably talented singer who got financially abused by his controlling business advisor Parker who sought only to commodify Elvis’s talent so he pay off his own gambling debts.

Director Baz Luhrmann captures the zeitgeist of what made Elvis Presley so original, from his Baptist revival roots in segregated Tennessee to become the most famous rock n roll star of the 1950’s through to the 1970’s as the film takes us to Elvis’s troubled residency at the International hotel in fabulous Las Vegas, when Presley realizes that he has been duped into a contract which he cannot get out of.

Elvis’s unbelievable fame came at a cost to his family, his wife Priscilla played beautifully by Olivia deJonge and as he tried to cope with his immense fame, and the undue influence of the sleazy Tom Parker superbly played by Tom Hanks who coaxes Elvis to stay on stage no matter what using all kinds of narcotics to keep the show going. After all this was Las Vegas and crimes of lust and perversion pervaded sin city.

Director and screen writer Baz Luhrmann hints at so many different themes in this brilliant and dazzling biopic from segregation to discrimination, from exploitation to extravagance, but at the heart of this glittering film are two exceptionally well-conceived performances by Austin Butler and Tom Hanks as two lonely men reaching for eternity.

Unlike Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley’s fame is unsurpassed and legendary. Elvis was the original rock star, the King which defined a generation and created Rock n Roll with a subtle touch of gospel and blues thrown in. Presley invented youth culture when it never existed back in the 1950’s.

Austin Butler deserves an Oscar for his dazzling performance as Elvis Presley and the costume designs by Oscar winning designer Catherine Martin are equally sizzling. Martin won Oscars for her work on The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge and is married to the director.

For those that love musical biopics, Elvis is highly recommended viewing, a poignant and sparkling tribute to the King of Rock n Roll who conquered Las Vegas and became legendary.

Elvis gets a film rating of 8.5 out of 10 and is brilliant, absorbing and alluring.

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