Elvis – The Movie

(Directed by Baz Luhrmann, Gold Coast premiere, June 2022) [Editor’s note: Rock biopics have greatly improved of late, such as Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman. It was only a matter of time before some ambitious director ‘Followed That Dream’ and tackled the life of Elvis Presley, one of the most significant cultural figures of the twentieth century. Our guest reviewer, Andrew Brown, the biggest Elvis Tragic we know, attended the Gala Premiere on Queensland’s Las Vegas, the Gold Coast (or “Goldy”) with family in tow, to report on proceedings.]

We attended the Red Carpet event on the Goldy on 4 June, under the pretense of taking Jodie shopping at Pacific Fair Shopping Centre – our first red carpet ever, and it was worth the lining up (I lined up while Jodie shopped) – secured front row, to see and hear Baz, Tom (Hanks), Austin (Butler), Olivia (DeJonge) and all the cast. Seemed to be a lot of love in the air by all on the carpet – I suspect due to being together for over 2 years, on and off, on the Goldy, through COVID. Then the Premiere screening occurred on 23 June 2022.

I thought the film captured the essence of The King – born to sacrifice his life to change forever the World of Music, leaving a legacy which lives stronger all the time, which is ironic as Elvis’ biggest fear was that he would not be remembered and it would all be over in his life time.

Having visited Memphis, Graceland, Beale St, Sun Recording Studio and surrounds, the recreation of those places on the Goldy was amazing, a stepping-back in time – ever since I visited, I have thought that to have been in that part of the World in the 50’s would have been like living in the centre of the universe, in terms of the change and excitement.

The film’s focus on Elvis’ spiritual side is appropriate, in terms of music and life. And just as Elvis hit his peak following the TV “comeback” special and the start of his Vegas career, his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, signed his life away, obligating The King to play unprecedented numbers of concerts, in order to cover the Col’s gambling debts. In the end, Elvis effectively gives up his wife and child, to keep performing, with the assistance of Dr. Nick’s drugs, with no genuine wellbeing support from his manager, father or mates – he needed his fans more than his family: very sad, but what a legacy. We loved it and aim to see it again. And for a post-movie session, we headed to a late lunch at Rick Shores restaurant in Burleigh Heads – according to Baz, one of the reasons he so loved the Goldy!

[Thank you Andrew! Looks like It’s Now Or Never to catch this (at least once or twice) at a cinema near you.]


  1. Reply

    Ritchie Ho

    July 5, 2022

    Can't wait to see this.

  2. Reply

    Angie Ryder

    July 6, 2022

    Hanks and Butler were incredible

  3. Reply

    Smug of Glebe

    July 12, 2022

    He looks like Elvis like Rami Malek looked liked Freddie.

  4. Reply


    July 14, 2022

    I was pondering the Elvis movie and the review that was provided on your website – I really enjoyed the movie and the review. My thoughts below:
    I think Baz gave us a terrific snapshot of the late 50s through to the seventies, with all of the music and gravitas that was associated with artists of the period. The sexuality that jumped off the stage from early Elvis and caused women to jump up and shout ‘pick me’ was portrayed beautifully with humour and a fantastic soundtrack, causing sighs and laughter in the cinema - of mostly ageing baby boomers.
    I couldn’t help but think that by todays behavioural expectations, Col Tom Parker would have been perceived as being a ‘Weinstein’, deliberately grooming Elvis from a very young age and coercively controlling him all of his short life. The scene that had Parker convincing Elvis to stay and not to head off overseas to perform was awesome. It was as if Parker was his subconscious, a little evil voice on his shoulder whispering in his ear and playing into his insecurities. Great interpretation of their relationship, just in one scene.
    The only thing that annoyed me was the plastic face of Parker. It didn’t seem to move when he spoke and so whatever they did to make Tom Hanks fat, wasn’t convincing. It seemed so obviously fake.

  5. Reply

    Peter J

    July 18, 2022

    TVC finally viewed this for itself on 17/7/212: Where to begin? Luhrmann's dazzling, assault-on-the-senses film looks wonderful, is edited like a rock video, and has about as much soul and authenticity. In fact, it comes across like the entertainments Col. Tom Parker used to stage - a double-dealing freak show. That said, Austin Butler's performance as Elvis was superlative: the musical numbers were terrific, and the real footage of Elvis' last concert, where he looked like he'd gone 15 rounds with Muhammad Ali, very poignant. (How kitsch that EP used to sing "My Way.") Thank goodness the director skated over the singer's 31 movies - they were strictly for fans. Personally I'd have given the film 3 stars for the good things in it, but we never got into Presley's soul, and that's a failure of the filmmaker's imagination.

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