Starring: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Olivia DeJonge, Helen Thomson, and Richard Roxburgh

Directed by: Baz Luhrmann

Written by: Craig Pearce, Baz Luhrmann, and Sam Bromell

What did I expect?

I was flooded with the great reviews, the ongoing support from Elvis Presley’s family, and the lengths at which Austin Butler went to perfect his character. But, I rarely agree with the general population’s opinion on popular movies. Usually I find more heart in an overlooked film than the one that takes all the awards at the Oscars.

That being said, I waited to watch Elvis (2022) until it came out on HBO. Which I think is important to mention because the venue in which you watch a movie does affect the experience you have with it.

During the watch…

Straight of the gates, Luhrmann’s direction for the film is well-organized, easy to understand and follow, and gets across a lot of information in a way that does not feel overwhelming. All the while, it is done with style, class, and creativity. It’s immersive, even watching from the comfort of your home.

So much information about Elvis is shared throughout the film that it almost feels like a documentary at times. It can be easy to forget that you are watching an actor and not actually Elvis. Remember, I say all of this not being that familiar with Elvis overall, so maybe an avid fan would have a different opinion.

While I almost want to complain about the nearly 3-hour watch time, I feel like this movie is very much an experience, a life told, and that justifies the length for me.

One thing that I can’t not talk about is how Austin Butler does not look like Elvis, especially from the front. However, his profile is not that off. Yet, somehow even though he does not resemble The King, it feels like you are watching Elvis. This says a lot about Butler’s ability to act and embody another person through his movement, voice, and his spirit. It’s like magic on screen. It genuinely feels like Elvis’ spirit was with Butler during his performance, it really is something else. I understand why this movie blew people away.

I have seen some of Butler’s other work, but this is in a whole new ball park on a whole new planet. He has come a long way since Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide and Hannah Montana. *round of applause*

from IGN on YouTube

My Favorite Quotes

“A reverend once told me, “When things that are too dangerous to say, sing.”‘

“There’s a lot of people saying a lot of things, but in the end you gotta listen to yourself.”

“I learned very early in life that without a song the day will never end. Without a song a man ain’t got a friend. Without a song the world would never mend. Without a song. So, I keep singing a song.”

“Elvis Presley is the best-selling solo recording artist of all time.”

So, should you watch it?

It’s a long movie! I had to watch it in parts because I cannot sit for hours on end unless I am really dialed into a story. I say, give it a try. Watch a half-hour of the film and see if Butler, the music, or direction pulls you in.

If it does, watch a little bit of it each day if you cannot justify sitting for 3-hours at one time. I recommend watching it even if just for the stylistic components and the artistry that ever so clearly went into making this film.

My Rating: 8.5/10

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

The ending was heartbreaking.

Overall, I love this film’s style, the acting could not have been better, and the subject matter covered is vast: touching on political and social issues, family relationships, and a struggle with drugs. However, it did not intrigue me enough to watch all in one sitting, even though I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. I do put partial blame on myself because I have been anxious lately and need to keep myself moving.

I also want to point out that sometimes when people said, “Mr. Presley,” it sounded like they were saying, “Mr. President.” I wonder if this was at all done purposely, or if is because my ears were being lazy, or the names just sound similar.

Sentence Summary

Elvis’ desire to be successful enough to spoil his family leads him down a path entrenched in so much stress that he loses himself, then sees a glimpse of himself again, and then sadly loses himself completely.

Where can you watch it?

HBO or buy the DVD

*Affiliate links may be included in this post, they help support my website without adding any extra cost to you.

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