Sunday, May 01, 2016

Elvis & Nixon

 It's not an easy task to create an entire film around a famous photograph but that's what director Liza Johnson and writers Joey Sagal, Hanala Sagal and Cary Elwes manage to do successfully in this lighthearted romp down memory lane. The story is true but entirely surreal.

     The year is 1970 and Elvis Presley decides he wants to meet with President Richard Nixon to convince the President he should become a "special agent at large" to fight the war on drugs. The film is not a traditional comedy per se but the events and story itself are so comedic, you can't help but laugh throughout the film. 

      Kevin Spacey is absolutely spot on as Nixon and Michael Shannon does an excellent job channeling the essence of Elvis, even if he really looks nothing like him. The supporting cast of Nixon's aides are Colin Hanks as Egil Krogh, Evan Peters as Dwight Chapin, and Tate Donovan as H.R. Halderman. Tracy Letts is John Finlator, the head of the Bureau of Narcotics in a very funny scene when Elvis pays a visit. Best friends, Jerry Shilling ( Alex Pettfer) and Sonny West ( Johnny Knoxville) accompany Elvis to Washington and help facilitate the historic meeting.

       The film is a time capsule of a specific event and era that is captured perfectly. It's fun and very entertaining.

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