RAMA delivers another great review.
Who would’ve thought that a movie could be built around one of the most famous photographs ever?! I genuinely love everything about ELVIS & NIXON, not only because I’ve been a longtime fan of Elvis Presley, ever since my Dad introduced me to his music when I was a kid, but also because this is one absolutely hilarious film, the comedy just hits the mark one after the other, it’s laugh out loud funny.
ELVIS & NIXON, directed by Liza Johnson, is essentially the story of how the King of Rock n’ Roll literally met the world’s most powerful man, President Nixon at the White House. I know the first thing that comes to your mind when you watch the trailer probably the fact that Michael Shannon doesn’t look like Elvis and Kevin Spacey doesn’t look like Nixon, but what those two great actors did in this film is not impersonation, they managed to capture the essence of the characters as written or created in the script. So this is not a biopic and it’s not caricature either. When two people with big egos collide, funny things bound to happen, and that’s what’s presented in ELVIS & NIXON.
There’s more to the story than just the meeting though, Elvis has a best friend, Jerry Schilling, played in the film by actor Alex Pettyfer in his surprisingly mature performance. And on the other side of the ring, Richard Nixon has his right hand people, one of whom is played by acotr Colin Hanks, his character knows what is politically beneficial for the President but since Nixon is a stubborn man, that situation contributes its own comedy as well.
The way Kevin Spacey and Michael Shannon play these respective characters is that they have delusion of grandeur but the film also suggests that that may be just some kind of defense mechanism because all their lives they had to prove themselves worthy, these are two famous and influential man with hidden sadness deep down. Elvis channels it in trying to please his friends, while Nixon tries to rationalize his arguments no matter how wrong he can be. Some people might see this film as trying to make these two people look like buffoons but that's not how I see it. If anything, I think ELVIS & NIXON is one of this year’s most well-written and character-driven comedies.
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