Original title:Elvis
Director:Baz Luhrmann
Running time:163 minutes
Release date:24 june 2022
The life and musical work of Elvis Presley through the prism of his complex relationship with his mysterious manager, Colonel Tom Parker. The film will explore their relationship over a period of twenty years, from the singer's rise to his unparalleled star status, against a backdrop of cultural upheaval and America's discovery that innocence is over.

Mulder's Review

The musical biopic is a difficult genre in itself, so much so that it is necessary to find the right angle of approach while constantly asking oneself the question of knowing what to retain from the life of an artist and if it is necessary to conceive it as a hagiography or to make it human by showing its many cracks and the long course that it traversed from simple unknown to world famous artist. We could retain as example of success the films La bamba (1987), The Doors (1991), Ray (2005), Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), Rocketman (2019). Each of his films has the compound elements of having an inspired director, an excellent soundtrack and above all a catchy script and solid performances. 

Certainly the new film co-written and directed by Baz Luhrmann joins this list and allows us to better understand the importance of Elvis Presley as a world music icon and especially the strong link that exists between the United States and this gifted artist who knew how to give a voice to America and fight for social values and social integration. Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 - August 16, 1977) has forever marked the memory of several generations and his music continues to be listened to throughout the world to the point of creating a real musical cult around the legend of an artist from an underprivileged background who was able to establish himself as the biggest record seller of all time with no less than 500 million albums sold. 

Unfortunately, the very bad influence of his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, who managed his business for more than two decades, led him to such a level of fatigue, accentuated by medication and various drugs, that he died at the age of 42 in 1977 at his Graceland estate. The film explores the life of this artist from his childhood to his death while showing his tense relationship with his manager and his strong love story with the woman of his life Priscilla Presley and their only daughter Lisa Marie Presley.

The director Baz Luhrmann has always known how to give an important part in his films to music, whether it is Romeo + Juliet (1996), the musical Moulin Rouge (2001) or his two dramatic frescoes Australia (2008) and The Great Gatsby (2013). We had to wait nine years to discover his biopic about Elvis Presley. He delivers here simply his best film to date and this one revisits an important part of the United States that it is the integration in this country but also the many traumas of a country with notably the assassination of Robert Francis Kennedy, U.S. senator from the state of New York on June 5, 1968. To give life to his film the director has surrounded himself with two excellent actors, Austin Butler in the role of Elvis Presley is simply impressive and delivers a remarkable performance in more ways than one and deserves an Oscar nomination for having given such a magnetic presence to his character. In the same way the actor Tom Hanks breaks his image of the perfect American by showing to what extent the colonel Tom Parker was a manipulative and obnoxious being ready to use the fame of his world star to the detriment of his health.

Contrary to the too flashy sides of Moulin Rouge, director Baz Luhrmann delivers here a biopic magnified by an inspired staging and a perfect editing in which the numerous musical numbers make us want to stand up in the room and beat the rhythm following this iconic singer with an inimitable voice. The singer's wounds and stage presence are perfectly rendered on screen and we can't help but suffer with him the many blows he took and suffer with him the ransom of fame and the fact of constantly giving his best to the public. Elvis is a real tragedy that reminds us that many icons of the music scene died too young, whether it be Prince or Michael Jackson, whose biopics we are waiting for with great impatience. Despite the long duration of the film, it goes by too quickly and we would have liked to stay longer with the characters of this endearing film. After having seen this unforgettable film, we understand better the long standing ovation during the Cannes festival where this film was screened in its world premiere. We can only advise you to discover this film in the cinema and we can already bet that like us you will be immersed in the King's music and will want to go to Las Vegas (which will be my case next month for my greatest happiness).

Directed by Baz Luhrmann
Screenplay by Baz Luhrmann, Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce, Jeremy Doner
Story by Baz Luhrmann, Jeremy Doner
Produced by Baz Luhrmann, Gail Berman, Catherine Martin, Patrick McCormick, Schuyler Weiss
Starring Austin Butler, Tom Hanks
Cinematography : Mandy Walker
Edited by Matt Villa, Jonathan Redmond
Music by Elliott Wheeler
Production companies : Bazmark Films, The Jackal Group
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date June 22, 2022 (France), June 24, 2022 (United States)
Running time : 163 minutes

Seen on June 21, 2022 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 4 seat A19

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