Elvis The Movie - My Thoughts
June 21st, I went to see the film for the first time. It was a small audience for the advanced screening. A quiet and respectful crowd.
The minute Austin hit the screen, I had goose bumps from start to finish. Not just because of his uncanny resemblance but his presence, his energy, you could just feel it. This young actor put his heart and soul into learning Elvis in every way. Especially in the way, a truly gifted actor much like a Daniel Day Lewis who becomes his study. Austin isn’t creepy or cheap like most ETAs are thought of. And no disrespect to ETA’s because many are not that. They actually are amazing Elvis fans. But I say this because I see a lot of comments about ETAs and Austin. Please don’t compare these men. Austin is an incredibly talented actor who will go on to many more great roles. And I guarantee Elvis will always be a part of his life. He will have the acting career Elvis always wanted. Like Lisa Marie Presley herself said, I truly believe Austin channeled Elvis.
Elvis Presley is in his heart and soul. You know what I picked up on? Austin played Elvis and he came off shy at times, confident at times but always humble and never cocky. Most actors who have played Elvis came off cocky. And that’s one thing Elvis never was. I loved Austin as young Elvis the best. Not because of anything he did or didn’t do. But his look was impeccable and the story and the details were just undeniable. Hands down, the role of Elvis Presley is taken! Done! Retired by Austin Butler. No one ever needs to play Elvis again. Done! Austin hit it out of the park as Elvis. Grand Slam!
The scene when Austin is playing Elvis crying in his mama’s closet just brought me to tears. It was so heartbreaking. It was not until days after seeing the movie for the second time, did I learn that Austin had an incredible connection to Elvis in that regard. Austin and Elvis both lost their mothers at the age of 23. What a tender age to lose your mama. Austin channeled that hurt for the scene. And that emotion just jumps off the screen into your heart. This movie is emotional!
I was born loving Elvis. Neither of my parents were Elvis fans. I got my first Elvis album in 1976, I was 3. So I never experienced seeing Elvis live. Growing up, I heard stories from my family. My mom was in catholic grammar school when Elvis first came out. The nuns at school made her sign a letter promising to never watch Elvis on tv. Now my Aunt Madeline loved Elvis, she didn’t go to Catholic school. She would watch Elvis on TV and scream and cry with her girlfriends. I watched clips of Elvis on tv wiggling his leg, swinging his hips and I didn’t get the big deal. I just knew at that time, it was unheard of to do on tv. So now sitting in the theater watching Austin take the stage as young Elvis working those girls into a frenzy. You feel the excitement. We all have seen the footage but we didn’t FEEL it. Austin brings you back in time, into THAT very audience and you feel that frenzy build and Build and BUILD! And then watch the audience explode! WOW! Thank You Austin for giving us that emotional performance. It sent my phi beta kappa a jaggling! The Colonel is watching the young girl's reactions, and these extras really capture that historic moment. Colonel says, "She isn't sure she should be having those feelings". Absolutely captures the essence of Elvis. It is my favorite part of the movie and if it’s all you see, it’s all you need to see. Hands down! Austin deserves an Oscar for his portrayal of Elvis.
The Presley family has said they loved this movie. They felt that it was finally done right. I agree, the portrayal of Elvis was finally captured perfectly. This is no propaganda. It is FACT!
At this time in life, I think this film was God sent for the entire family. Just what this family needed. The Presley family has been through a lot in these last few years. I hope it brought some closure and mostly, some peace to their souls. Watching Lisa Marie with Austin in the Jungle Room on the 20/20 special, you could just see a softness, a guard, a wall let down with Lisa and Austin. I don’t think many people pass that barrier (and with good reasons) with Lisa Marie. I loved how she said if anyone has a problem with Austin, Come see me! That’s exactly what I would say if anyone had a problem with my two nephews. She’s a loyal mama bear. A loyalty like that is one in a million. Watching Austin, you could see how much that truly meant to him and yet a bit of shock. He’s so humble much like our Elvis himself.
Today, I read an article in which Tom Hanks is just discovering new Elvis songs. And he can’t believe he never heard, I'm coming home. Remember those exciting times when we all were just discovering new Elvis songs? The impact each one had on us? It’s really nice to know that passion is there. This movie made an impact on the cast. It made an impact on the family. It made an impact on us, the loyal fans. And most importantly, it made a Yuge impact on America. Elvis is number 1 at the box office.
I hope this film brings a new generation of fans and they study Elvis, his legacy, and learn from us long time fans and continue that legacy. I hope America will be kinder when talking about Elvis after seeing this film. My second time seeing the film, a loud mouthed, I guess I’ll be polite and call her a lady, kept stuffing her face with popcorn and saying, I wonder if we will see fat Elvis. When is Fat Elvis coming? And laughing as the popcorn flew out of her mouth. I wanted to turn to her and say, “Honey, you’re not exactly thin yourself. And your face doesn’t even make up for it.” Trust me, it took everything not to. But I did not want to ruin the film for the rest of the audience who applauded wildly at the end of the film.
When people talk about Elvis’ death, they make jokes about his death. And why is that? People are generally kind when they talk about Prince’s death or Amy Winehouse and several others. The manner in which Elvis died is fairly common. 40,000 Americans a year die that way. There has never been any compassion towards Elvis and his death. Maybe now people will have some compassion and understand the stress he was under as well as the addiction issues. It is nothing to be ashamed of. So many Americans today are struggling with opioid addiction. Great people, amazing family members and friends. So let’s be kind when it comes to Elvis. He also had some health aliments which were very painful. Yet he got up on that stage and gave his fans the best he could. And no one will argue with me when I say, a sick Elvis was still the most beautiful man Ever!
The movie itself is beautifully artistic. It is a fictional take on the relationship between Elvis and The Colonel. Baz has done a lot of research and there is so much attention to detail in the film. I loved the inclusion of actual Elvis footage in the film. Seeing Al Dvorin on screen saying, Elvis has left the building. Love, Love love! The little gestures, the little nods like Billy Smith riding the go-cart down the driveway. The funky angels in the Vegas showroom. Yeah, did you notice that detail? Amazing! The average film maker would not go that far into personal, special detail. Love and passion in this film! It’s Willy Wonka for Elvis fans!
No expense was spared, 85 million dollars to make this film which included amazing CGI mixing actual footage and recreations which brought us all back to the every important moment of the King’s life from Tupelo to Graceland before it was GRACELAND and so much more. Elvis isn’t the cartoon or the joke. He’s taken serious as he always wished for. And I thank Baz from the bottom of my heart for doing that for Elvis.
You all know, I tell it as I see it, no ass kissing to EPE, no propaganda, just exactly how I feel. And if I feel Elvis has been done wrong or made to be a fool, I go hard. I’m loyal to a fault. So when I tell you, this film is incredible, believe me. Elvis is in heaven looking down and he finally knows that the world will take him seriously. Flash in the pan, Elvis The Pelvis no more!
Thank You Baz! TCB with TLC!
Tomorrow, I'll tell you the little things I didn't like or would like to have seen differently.