Film Reviews

Elvis needs a little more conversation, a little less action

Baz Luhrmann’s heavily-hyped biopic of Presley isn’t quite saved by Austin Butler’s splendid performance as the King

Austin Butler as Elvis Presley: The young actor has the same moves, voice and magnetism that made Elvis’s fans go wild

The films of Baz Luhrmann (even the good ones, such as Strictly Ballroom and Romeo + Juliet) have often been criticised for the Australian’s maximalist approach, in which style trumps substance, sensation outpaces emotion, and euphoria is the ultimate goal. Loud, garish and energetically spectacular, Luhrmann’s kaleidoscopic method seems, on the surface, to be a good fit for an opulent biopic of the King of Rock 'n’ Roll – but Elvis, like so much of ...