Biopic “Elvis” in Cannes: Return to Sender – Culture

Let’s say Elvis Presley’s Wikipedia entry has a nose. It can coke. too much. Then you have a rough idea of ​​what the movie “Elvis” would look like.

The lavish Hollywood biopic made its world premiere out of competition just before the conclusion of the Cannes Film Festival. There is no competition for the Palme d’Or, which is awarded on Saturday evening. Colleagues from the American magazine diverse They clearly had the stopwatch with them at the cinema, and after the credits rolled in, they measured twelve minutes of applause at the Grand Théâtre Lumière. Although you have to seriously ask yourself if people are applauding because they liked the movie so much – or out of relief that it’s finally over.

“Elvis” is a heart project by Australian director Baz Luhrmann. He once made Romeo and Juliet, one of the most famous films of the ’90s (and starred as a young star named Leonardo DiCaprio). This was followed by “Moulin Rouge” and “The Great Gatsby”. All the works in which Luhrmann cemented his place as a Hollywood breaker. A glowing director who makes colorful and loud movies like fireworks. Luhrmann is an artist who does not adapt his style to history, but adapts history to his style. This is an approach that can sometimes spoil.

Attempting to turn Tom Hanks into a fat man goes terribly wrong

The film credits reveal that, to put it mildly, there must have been different narrative approaches to Elvis. Hollywood always has a fleet of writers who write big, expensive movies because producers fear the movie will turn out to be a failure. A little spelling detail always tells us if they’re a diff, or backup to rewrite scripts that no one was happy with.

If there was a “&” between the nouns, the two authors worked together on the script. If there is an “and” between the two names, it means that they broke up and probably wrote one after the other. At the end of Elvis’ statements under the Scenario tab it says “Baz Luhrmann, Sam Brommel, Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pierce, Jeremy Doner; The Baz Luhrmann and Jeremy Donner story.” Weaving “&” and “and” is really cool that must have kept several lawyers and agents busy for a while and that speaks volumes for many draft scripts.

Tom Hanks plays explorer and slave driver for Elvis “Colonel” Tom Parker. With a full pillow attached under the shirt.

(Photo: dpa)

What remains is a dramatic constellation, as you already know from the biographical film “Amadeus” about Mozart, who was a kind of Elvis of Salzburg. Just as Amadeus is told from the point of view of his opponent Salieri, “Elvis” is told from the point of view of “Colonel” Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). The man was Elvis’ discoverer and manager, but he’s also the one who milks him like a farm animal. Some biographers accuse him of driving the king into pill addiction and thus to his death.

When the great Tom Hanks takes on a role like this, nothing can go wrong, you think. But it is feared that this movie will not bring him back to the Oscars podium. Rather, it was an embarrassing misstep for the historical film files. In an effort to make him look fat like a real colonel he mistakes horribly and constantly looks like pillows under his shirt (probably because he wears a pillow under his shirt). Not to mention the piles of plasticine on his face. The end result: the fattest sand skin of the Midwest.

Tablets. Las vigas. More grain. More Vegas

Elvis Presley plays American newcomer Austin Butler, who was discovered by Quentin Tarantino. In “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” he played a boy from Charles Manson’s murder gang, who ended up alongside Brad Pitt and his bull. Butler makes more than a decent King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, bangs in place, swaying hips more than that – but if the world isn’t lacking for anything, he’s an Elvis impersonator. Luhrmann does not allow him to do much more than that. He is thrust through the stations of Presley’s life as a lovable but somewhat naive mama, without any form of dramatic weighting. It was prefaced by gospel and blues. First record deal with Sun Records. Move to the RCA masthead. Anger at his provocative dance style in conservative America. Marriage to Priscilla. Birth of Lisa Marie. Tablets. Las vigas. More grain. More Vegas.


Rather than focusing on a particular part of his life, everything should appear briefly at least once, up to two or three decades of American history. In the TV pictures in the background, someone is always shot, and then everyone has to look sad for a couple of seconds. Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, the country is headed toward the abyss along with its biggest rock stars.

As Luhrmann tells it all at the same MTV pace, as if the hilarious ’90s never ended, fast, loud and with more chops than the human mind can handle, it all becomes a hack for Elvis sauce. Luhrmann’s typical soundtrack style of blending the music of the time with the music of today finally makes the film breathe heavy on overdose. And because the movie runs for 2 hours and 39 minutes, you end up feeling as pissed off as a weary and exhausted Elvis on screen. Does the king live? Unfortunately no. To paraphrase one of his great songs: Go back to the sender.

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