ELVIS premieres at Cannes – In Theatres Now

Elvis Presley famously never got the overseas touring career he deserved. He played only three venues outside the U.S., all of them in Canada in 1957, well before reaching peak superstardom. Instead of going international, he remained a fixture of the International Hotel in Las Vegas from 1969 to 1976, performing show after sold-out show until just a year before his death. Keeping Presley tied to Vegas was just one of the many schemes of his exploitative manager, Col. Tom Parker, who, it’s now widely believed, was afraid to leave the U.S. after having immigrated there illegally from the Netherlands years prior. 

The sad history of Elvis and Col. Parker’s toxic father-son like dynamic is unpacked at length in “Elvis,” Baz Luhrmann’s extravagant new movie about Presley’s life, art and career, which premiered at the 75th annual Cannes Film Festival.

Presley may never have gotten to perform for his fans in France, but Cannes gladly rolled out the red carpet for Luhrmann and his stars, Austin Butler, who makes a credibly charismatic Elvis, and Tom Hanks, who makes Col. Parker every inch the self-serving scumbag. 

We get the basics of Presley’s career: the early days of hardship, the profound influence of black music, the blues and gospel; his days on the hayseed country circuit before signing for Parker, the huge Elvismania success, the shrewd decision to calm moral-majority fears by doing two years military service in Germany, marriage to Priscilla, the bubblegum movies, the televised 1968 Comeback Special and the long Vegas goodbye.

Elvis was made with the blessing of the Presley estate, if not the direct involvement of the family, who have recently spoken out in support of the film.

ELVIS is in theaters now. Have you seen it? Let us know what you think!

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