Elvis Presley is one of the greatest and most influential artists of all time, with the King of Rock and Roll often cited as the most significant cultural figure of the 20th Century. When Baz Luhrmann opted to make a biopic about the late star of Las Vegas, he knew it was a serious undertaking.
Luckily for fans of Elvis and new viewers who wanted a taste of what the singer was like, the 2022 picture was a hit. Indeed, along with an excellent critical response, it also received several accolades. Now, there’s a strong argument to say that it’s the best musical biopic to have been released over the last few years.
Iconic Singer is Still the Face of Entertainment
Elvis was one of the hardest-working musicians of the 1950s and 1960s, and during that time he managed to establish himself as the biggest pop star on the planet. He was also the face of Las Vegas, which gained its reputation as the entertainment capital of the world during the same era. Elvis’s influence spread far and wide and even made it to the far reaches of Europe.
Outside of the USA, Elvis had huge followings in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Finland. He never played tours of the continent, but he did various one-off concerts. These were usually to promote his movies. Elvis still has a godlike status in many European nations including Finland, and this is reflected in the modern entertainment industry. For instance, his likeness is used on the Invading Vegas slot at Norppa, which is a new and exciting Finnish casino. The game stands out among other titles like Iron Bank and Punk Toilet and is clearly there to tap into the large Elvis fanbase in Finland.
Elvis Met With High Critical Acclaim
Elvis brought in more than $1.7 million at the Finnish box office and $3.2 million in Germany. Outside of the USA, it was most successful in the United Kingdom where it brought in over $30 million from ticket sales. Overall, the picture grossed $287 million and became the second highest-grossing music biopic after Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody in 2018.
Aside from being commercially successful, Elvis was met with high praise from experts in the film industry, with the Guardian awarding it the full five stars. The publication referred to Elvis as a “blistering, turbocharged chronicle of the King.” The movie was nominated for a variety of awards as well and cleaned up at the AACTA Awards in December last year. Many of the accolades that it is in contention for are still pending.
What Other Musical Biopics Have Been Recent Hits?
The last few years have seen an influx of musical biopics centering on some of the most legendary artists and bands of all time. These include Bohemian Rhapsody, England is Mine and Rocketman. These focused on Queen, The Smiths, and Elton John respectively.
England is Mine was a lower-budget offering than the others in this list, and it received a mixed response from critics. Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman were both lauded by experts, though, and they received numerous awards as well. Elvis can certainly be discussed alongside these pictures as an outstanding contribution to the recent rise of musical biopics. Whether it’s the best of them probably depends on the viewer’s preference of the three styles of music.
It’s hard to say whether Elvis is the best musical biopic of recent times, as the competition is stiff. However, it is up there with the best of them. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can now stream it on HBO Max.