The Elvis Movie: He Never Left The Building

July 23, 2022

After witnessing the new Elvis movie one quickly realizes that words are not quite enough. This is a stunning work of cinema and without question something long overdue in the story of American history (even though it was primarily an Australian production). Few figures in the modern world are as widely loved and yet so thoroughly misunderstood as Elvis Presley – and it was time to finally tell his story in a big way. Baz Luhrmann completely delivered in clearing the air of who Elvis really was and what exactly happened – particularly in his later years.

The fact that the picture runs at 159 minutes is almost irrelevant to the viewer, and many who've seen it would surely feel that a longer movie would have been perfectly appropriate. It was, in fact, revealed in an interview by Luhrmann that a four hour assembly cut of the film actually exists:

The way that the movie was told is balanced enough to convey the main points of the wild life of Elvis Presley, and in a very rare moment in the history of cinema, the film actually gets better as it progresses, instead of descending into the usual dark, almost unbearable sad story so characteristic of biographical productions. This picture ascends as it goes.

Of course, it goes without saying, that Austin Butler pulled off one of the most incredible biographical portrayals in movie history, perhaps bordering on a resurrection, and is already a favorite to take Best Actor at any of the award ceremonies on the horizon:

And, Tom Hanks gave the film further weight in his portrayal of the mysterious Colonel Tom Parker. He may also score victories on the upcoming awards circuit.

So, finally, after decades of half-hearted caricatures and countless low blows, the score has been settled for Elvis Presley and all those close to his life. To think that a movie about him would even be made in such strange times as these is almost unthinkable, but to have it become such a master work is beyond the expectations of just about anyone. With the usual PR and anticipation that is highly built up for most large scale productions like this one, most people expected just another biopic with a few interesting scenes and good musical performances, not a movie that tied for the longest standing ovation in the history of the Cannes Film Festival:

This is a powerful movie that is taking a lot of people by surprise, and will very likely be chronicled as a work of historical significance in the years to come. Such a story told about one of the most important figures in American history was missing for far too long.

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