It’s Elvismania allover again! The Cast and Director of ELVIS have landed in Toronto for a day of Press in advance of tonight’s Canadian Premiere of the Film at TIFF Bell Lightbox, where the Red Carpet will be rolled-out!
Stars Austin Butler and Olivia De Jonge were up and at it early today doing the Morning Show circuit, with stops at Breakfast Television and The Morning Show. They star as Elvis and Priscilla Presley respectively in Baz Luhrmann‘s upcoming spectacle which recounts The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s rise to fame, and complicated relationship with his Manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks).
After a Premiere at Cannes where it got a record extended standing ovation, the buzz continues to spread for this latest effort from the same Director who brought us The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge.
Some lucky fans were able to get Selfies with Butler, who actually spent a Summer here back in 2010 filming SHARPAY’S FABULOUS ADVENTURE back in 2010. De Jonge, in a bit of a rush, still was gracious enough to stop for a couple snaps, holding a Tim Hortons cup of coffee! Honourary Canadian!
Luhrmann returns to Toronto after having promoted The Great Gatsby here back in 2013. We were so lucky to get to chat with him. More here.
Writer-Director Baz Luhrmann takes us on a dazzling ride with the Rock ‘n’ Roll legend.
The Film is told from the perspective of his manager Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). We are taken through the life of Elvis (Austin Butler) from his humble beginnings to his tragic early passing. Along the way we see the impact, Elvis has had on music, branding and more within the industry.
It comes as no surprise that Luhrmann is the perfect fit for bringing the flair and glamour of Elvis to the big screen. Luhrmann’s Filmmaking style is in full effect as we follow the young boy becoming one of the greatest musicians in history. Tom Parker tells the story of how he made Elvis famous. It’s an odd entry point to a story about the world’s best-selling Solo Artist, considering Tom Parker is believed to be one of the causes of his death. At times it feels like the story didn’t need this narration aspect. However, it serves as a way into the many themes Luhrmann and his Co-Writers Sam Bromell and Craig Pearce explore.
Although this is a story about Elvis, it touches on the Music industry as a whole. Particularly, the behind-the-scenes work. We get to watch as Elvis becomes the first Musician to make women’s emotions run rampant. These scenes are sprinkled throughout and are an absolute delight to watch. Luhrmann captures brilliantly how a little wiggle of Elvis’ hips made women to lose their minds. These moments work thanks to a breakthrough performance from Butler who literally disappears into the icon. Each of the performances throughout is perfectly edited by Jonathan Redmond and Matt Villa, bringing us right into the performance hall.
Further, we watch as Tom Parker was the first Manager to make merchandise for a Musician. Moments like this remind the audience of the impact Elvis had on the industry as a whole. To this day, he was the first to do what Musicians do today. Luhrmann uses non-Elvis Music in the Film to the same effect. There’s one music mash-up that combines Elvis, “Backstreet’s Back” and “Toxic”. Doing this works as a touching tribute to the effect Elvis has on musicians to this day.
At the centre of the story is the toxic relationship between Elvis and Tom Parker. It’s clear from the beginning that he doesn’t have Elvis’ best interests at heart. He looks at him as a bank that will spew-out money. It’s a rare antagonist performance from Hanks who excels as the controlling Tom Parker. He tells Elvis to stop hanging around with the Musicians on Beale Street, stop dancing suggestively on stage, and wear different clothes at his performances. This results in Elvis losing who he is and what made him so beloved.
We see Elvis struggle between who he is and who his Manager is trying to turn him into. It’s mesmerizing to watch Butler portray this legend. He perfectly shows Elvis’ the energetic, alluring performance side and the man off-stage. The one who was struggling with his identity and craved the love he received while on stage.
It’s great watching him alongside Olivia DeJonge who plays Priscilla Presley. These moments show how fame can come in-between what was actual love.
ELVIS showcases some of the greatest performances of the year, including a powerhouse performance from Butler, made glossy by the stylish finishes Luhrmann is known for. It’s a great time at the Cinema while touching upon important moments throughout history. It’s a reminder that Musicians have the ability to make positive changes both within their industry and socially.