As mixed reviews for Baz Luhrman’s Elvis started to trickle in on Tuesday, the film apparently received a much more glowing reception at Cannes. According to Variety executive editor Ramin Setoodeh, the Austin Butler-starring biopic prompted a 12-minute long standing ovation, which Setoodeh described as “the biggest and most enthusiastic of the festival so far.” Here’s Tom Hanks, making sure that the leading man (and not himself) gets the camera’s love.
— Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) May 25, 2022
The Cannes audience’s boisterous praise for Elvis is an interesting response given the film isn’t exactly bowling over critics. Here’s what David Ehrlich from IndieWire said about the biopic:
“It doesn’t matter if you do 10 stupid things so long as you do one smart one,” Colonel Tom Parker advises us near the start of Baz Luhrmann’s utterly deranged musical biopic about the King of Rock & Roll, but even a ratio that forgiving would still leave “Elvis” roughly 370 “smart ones” short. If only this 159-minute eyesore — a sadistically monotonous super-montage in which a weird Flemish guy manipulates some naïve young greaser over and over and over again until they both get sad and die — were gracious enough to be as short in any other respect.
One recurring issue is the strange accent Hanks employed as Colonel Tom Parker, which also received a drubbing from The Hollywood Reporter who called it “arguably the least appealing performance of his career.”
However, Butler’s portrayal of the King has been routinely cited as a highlight of the film. The actor’s depiction has been called “sexy and hypnotic,” and clearly, the audiences at Cannes were for here for his hound dog crooning.
Elvis opens in theaters on June 24.