All shook up at Elvis debut in Cannes

Luhrmann praises 'bravery' of his cast and crew

by Richard Mowe

Cannes rapture for Elvis with Tom Hanks, Austin Butler, Baz Luhrmann and Priscilla Presley just before the screening began
Cannes rapture for Elvis with Tom Hanks, Austin Butler, Baz Luhrmann and Priscilla Presley just before the screening began Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival
The King still has swing as proved by the rapturous reception accorded to Baz Luhrmann’s biopic which screened last night at the Cannes Film Festival in the presence of, among many, Priscilla Presley, who flew in for the world premiere of the biopic about her late spouse.

She is unlikely to have any qualms about what is a sanitised and starry spangled view of Presley who is incarnated by Austin Butler. Despite Tom Hanks’ contribution as manager Colonel Parker, snake-hipped Butler was the hero of the evening. The red carpet was also graced by Sharon Stone, Shakira, and Kylie Minogue.

Luhrmann who is a Cannes regular since the days of his first film Strictly Ballroom and then Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby, was left over-emotional by the reaction. He was quoted as saying: "But for the bravery of [Tom Hanks] to come back, and the bravery of this cast and this crew to go on through Covid and to finish this film, and we are back in Cannes, and to see these streets so full of people who love movies, of every form of life and every background and every kind of movie, there’s so much more about what this place means and what it means to be back in the cinema. And for that, we are eternally grateful, Cannes.”

Following the screening there was a party on one of the Cannes beaches featuring Italian glam rock Eurovision winers Måneskin and music from the film.

The portrayal of The King's life focuses on a 20-year period in the relationship between the singer and Parker, from his early career to his rise to fame.

Elvis opens in the UK and US on 24 June.

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