Baz Luhrmann's biopic reportedly received a 12-minute standing ovation at Cannes once the credits rolled - but not everyone's a fan.
It seems critics are all shook up with the latest biopic which follows one of the biggest stars in country and blues. Reactions to the 'Elvis' film has, generally speaking, been getting relatively mixed reviews from critics who managed to see it at the Cannes Film Festival this week.
Austin Butler, who takes on the role of the titular performer, has Academy Awards buzz surrounding him after what critics have said is "a performance worthy of the King". However, some see his take as nothing more than a cheap impersonation.
According to reports, following the film's premiere at Cannes last night, Luhrmann's creation received a 12-minute standing ovation full of "bravos" and hoots from the enamoured crowd, with attendees (mostly) full of praise for the 159 minutes feature. Also, Butler thrust his hips, which unsurprisingly contributed to the cheers.
Here are some of the critics' reactions to 'Elvis'. It currently has an 82% Rotten Tomatoes rating.
The Sunday Times say 'Elvis' is Luhrmann's best since 'Romeo + Juliet'. Awarding it four stars, they say that the director "may have found his perfect subject" in Elvis Presley.
The LA Times praises Tom Hanks' Col. Parker, calling him "every inch the self-serving scumbag". Even though it's always a pleasure to see Hanks on screen, having Elvis' ruthless manager as the narrator of the tale, essentially the co-protagonist, they felt "his work here is hammy, grating and unmodulated to a fault, accomplished with a combo of fat suit, prosthetic jowls and over-the-top accent that makes Colin Farrell’s Penguin and Stellan Skarsgard’s Baron Von Harkonnen look positively restrained". When it comes to the musical performances though, they say: "It’s all a bit much, which means it’s just right."
Although The Wrap notes that Butler comes off as more of an "Elvis impersonator" than anything, they found the film mostly entertaining, even though Luhrmann’s cut "falls somewhere between 'Bohemian Rhapsody', which pretended it was telling the real Freddie Mercury story but did nothing of the sort, and 'Rocketman', which told you up front that it was going to turn Elton John’s story into a fantasia".
IndieWire, meanwhile, is less favourable. Although praising Butler's take on The King, they found that Luhrmann's biopic is "deliriously awful": "Austin Butler gives a performance worthy of the King, but he's buried alive under a rhinestone rollercoaster of weak biopic tropes. [...] Rather than carving a meaningful path to guide Elvis through history, Luhrmann simply floats him through the years on a raft of non-stop music that bumps into an endless series of biopic clichés at light speed into the next until it finally capsizes a few decades later."
Vanity Fair also didn't feel a burning love for the biopic. While praising Butler, who "ably embodies early Elvis’s almost androgynous—and yet still aggressively virile—magnetism", and loving the musical numbers, they found that the film was only surface level and didn't reveal much more of the star than we already know.
Similarly, The Guardian wants a little less conversation about 'Elvis'. Awarding the biopic two stars, they have touted Butler as giving "a competent but not especially inspired performance". They wish that the film had made Elvis as the secondary character, with the vicious Col. Parker as the lead: "But how about a film about the Colonel, with Elvis taking a secondary role? That would have been genuinely new and Hanks would have sold it superbly. As it is, this is just another exercise in Elvis impersonation, its upper lip twitching to no purpose."
So, all in all, some can't help falling in love with 'Elvis', while others are in a heartbreak hotel situation. Audiences will be able to make up their own opinion on the film when it releases in cinemas on June 24.