Elvis : Baz Luhrmann’s larger-than-life biopic

Picture of the film ELVIS by Baz LUHRMANN © 2022 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Baz Luhrmann opened the Festival in 2013 with The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo di Caprio as Gatsby. This year, the Australian creator of Moulin Rouge with Nicole Kidman (In Competition, 2001) follows Elvis Presley from his rise to fame to unprecedented stardom, with Austin Butler playing The King and Tom Hanks as his mysterious manager. Elvis (Out of Competition) portrays the human side of the legendary singer, against the backdrop of a distinct period in American history.

Screenwriter and director Baz Luhrmann thought big for his new film, an ambitious musical project as epic as its main character: Elvis. More than just a biopic, this portrayal of The King's life focuses on a twenty-year period in the relationship between the singer and his mysterious manager, Colonel Tom Parker, from his early career to his stratospheric rise to fame. In this musical film of the year, the attention to detail shines out: from the casting to the amazing sets created in Australian studios, and of course not forgetting the music, which, unusually, was created as the film was being shot: a mixture of retro and modern, reinvented by talented artists.

“Somewhere, there must be lights which shine brighter: birds which fly higher in a bluer sky.”

Baz Luhrmann chose Austin Butler to play Elvis, "an actor who can not only reproduce the natural mannerisms and the distinct vocal qualities of this unique artist, but his vulnerability too."  Olivia deJonge plays Priscilla Presley, the rock'n'roll legend's link to stability. Tom Hanks brings his unique skills to the part of the manager, a scoundrel who had the unbelievable insight to recognise the dazzling showbusiness potential of the brilliant young man he discovered at a country fair.