Tom borrowed new magazines at our wonderful local library.
In the July 4, 2022 issue of The New Yorker is a review by Anthony Lane of the new “Elvis” movie, “He That Plays the King”. (That’s the title of the article, not the movie.)
Since yesterday was the 45th anniversary of Elvis’s death, I felt it appropriate to post this blog today.
Baz Luhrmann is the director of the new movie. He’s probably best known as the director of the bombastic and colorful 2001 “Moulin Rouge’, with a dazzling Nicole Kidman.
Lane reports that Luhrmann “makes a virtue of unsubtlety.” He certainly is an eccentric, creative director. That 2001 movie divided viewers into three camps: the haters (I overheard a woman in the grocery store tell her friend she turned off the movie after the first fifteen minutes), the lovers of the film (I don’t personally know any but I read a few reviews), and the likers/dislikers (Tom and I were the among latter).
I disliked the way Kidman burst into a popular song that pretty much had nothing to do with the story. As in Wes Anderson’s movies, the actors never fully inhabit their characters. The viewer knows they’re acting.
Lane goes through the timely sequences of Elvis’s life, though he says “the movie spares us the unlovely particulars of his end.”
Lane faintly praises Tom Hanks in the role of Colonel Tom Parker, though a Facebook friend, who has seen the movie, says Hanks is splendid in the role.
Austin Butler plays Elvis, and Anthony Lane has decent things about him. My Facebook friend says the actor was believable.
I don’t know much about Elvis’s life—he was before my time. No, I never watched Elvis movies on TV or in the theater.
Aside from Anthony Lane’s customary grouchy sarcastic wit (or because of it), the movie sounds interesting. We want to see it!
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