Say what you will about Tom Hanks accent in Elvis my skin crawled every time he got near Austin Butler’s Elvis.
He looked like he wanted to eat him and I was yelling, Get away from him!
So I finally watched Elvis and really liked it.
After wanting to see it last summer but then not getting around to it I had kind of cooled. Not going to lie Austin Butler finally dropping the accent and generally wanting to see it before the Academy Awards helped me finally hit play.
Credit where credit is due Austin Butler really nailed it. I can finally see why it’s a three-way race between him, Brendan Fraser (who’s likely going to win) and Colin Farrell. By about mid-way through the film I was all in.
I will say while I enjoy the music I don’t know that much about Elvis. This isn’t like Marilyn Monroe and Blonde where I’ve been a fan since I was a child and couldn’t even finish that movie. So perhaps someone more familiar with him feels differently.
Life does intervene though because I admit I had a hard time with Priscilla knowing that she’s basically stopped talking to her granddaughter because Riley was put in charge of her late mother’s will.
The movie is mainly about Elvis life and relationship with Colonel Tom Parker, the man who launched him and seriously abused him financially, emotionally and hell I’d even say physically in the end by essentially manipulating him into performing and helping his drug dependency.
Parker was a shadowy figure and I can’t help but think if Elvis was around today one good thing about social media was people would figure him out and call him out in no time flat. The fifties entertainment weren’t exactly the days of checked resumes.
I did like the heavy handed devil symbolism about him though. Been a while since I’ve watched a Bad Luhrmann thoroughly enjoy it when he’s on it. Plus I mean I’ve always enjoyed Elvis music.
One thing about this movie did leave me a little torn. They do show the influence of black culture and music on Elvis’ life, that being where the music came from essentially. I saw a lot of people say they thought it should go further and on the one hand I don’t disagree but on the other I’m not sure I should have expected it to.
Like it’s a movie about Elvis’ life heavily influenced, at the time, by his surviving family members I’m not sure it ever would have called him out on it. I don’t know enough about him to know if it ever was while he was alive. I don’t know. It was nice to see B.B. King but his character could have been used as more.
But overall I really enjoyed the film. I must admit the crop of Oscar films this year is really strong although my heart is still with Everything Everywhere… Elvis is more than worth a watch.