Baz Luhrmann's Elvis has been met with praise from both critics and audiences alike. Because of Luhrmann's often vibrant and vivacious style of filmmaking, he was considered by many as the perfect director to tell the tale of the King of Rock 'n' Roll and his Las Vegas residency.
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Elvis is one of many musical biopics that attracts awards season acclaim and high interest from moviegoers, as viewers like to go behind the scenes of their favorite artists and discover their origin stories. For those who left Elvis wanting to see more movies of a similar style, there is an abundance of films out there to watch.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Walk The Line (2005)
The biopic of country singer Johnny Cash and his wife and frequent collaborator June Carter was a mega-hit with audiences and critics alike upon its 2005 release. The film centers around Cash's then-infamous concert and Folsom State Prison and his early life of fame, loss, and addiction that led him to this point. Reese Witherspoon's portrayal of Carter won her the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Cash was in many ways a contemporary of Elvis and is a must-watch for those who want to know more about the era of the birth of Rock 'n' Roll. Joaquin Phoenix's stunning portrayal of The Man In Black is a thrilling look at the dark underbelly of fame in this revolutionary era of music.
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
The rise and fall of a star like Elvis Presley is a tale as old as time itself, and almost Shakespearean in its style. Baz Luhrmann's depiction of one of the most famous stories of all time, William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, is an explosive modern portrayal of the tragedy and is one of many of Luhrmann's cinematic takes on cultural folklore.
For those who enjoyed the glitz and glamour of Elvis, Romeo + Juliet serves much of the same stylistic innovation in its portrayals of romance, tragedy, and love of excess. Young Leonardo Dicaprio and Claire Danes as star-crossed lovers makes for one of the most iconic romances in modern cinema.
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)
With a huge cast of comedy greats like John C. Reilly, Kristen Wiig, and Paul Rudd, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story parodies many contemporary music biopics like Walk The Line. Based on a fictional rock legend, the film hilariously chronicles the life of early rock pioneer Dewey Cox as he encounters tragedy, the counterculture movement (with a few Beatles in tow), and drug addiction. While it had mixed reception upon release, the film has now developed a bit of a following.
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Walk Hard's self-aware take on the typical musical biopic is similar to how Baz Luhrmann approached Elvis. This balance of the cynical and silly in portraying the absurdity of fame was a clear source of inspiration for the new biopic. The film even features Dewey Cox encountering Elvis Presley, portrayed by musician Jack White.
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
Bohemian Rhapsody was the last big musical biopic before Elvis. While divisive amongst many film critics for being formulaic and containing some revisionist history, the portrayal of the band Queen and its frontman, Freddie Mercury, grossed almost one billion dollars worldwide and received multiple Oscar nominations, with Rami Malek taking home Best Actor.
Those who liked Elvis will likely enjoy this musical biopic, chronicling the late 1970s-mid 1980s era of music that came after Elvis Presley's death. Those who want to know more about the history of pop culture and the music that followed will enjoy the film, while those who are aware of the legend of Freddie Mercury will be awestruck by Malek's ability to embody the performer.
Elvis & Nixon (2016)
This rather recent Elvis biopic portrays the real-life meeting between Elvis Presley and then-President Richard Nixon in 1970. The meeting was arranged to help improve Nixon's image in popular culture, and the two larger-than-life personalities initially clash, although find common ground in the war against drugs, and hatred of hippies and The Beatles.
For those who want to learn more about Elvis Presley's life that wasn't featured in the movie, Elvis & Nixon highlights a more conservative side of Presley that some audiences may find unlikable. The film makes for an interesting portrayal of Elvis' often-contradictory views on drugs and his place in counterculture, adding humanity, for better or worse, to the musician who is often more myth than man.
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
For those who want to explore more of Baz Luhrmann's filmography, his 2001 epic musical romance offers some similar sparkle to Elvis. The film tells the tragic romance between a poet and a cabaret performer at the famous Moulin Rouge theater in Paris, using popular contemporary songs along the way as a jukebox musical.
Fans of the music of Elvis will appreciate the soundtrack, especially the remix of Lady Marmalade by P!nk, Christina Aguilera, and Lil' Kim, something in a similar vein to Doja Cat's interpretation of Elvis' hit Hound Dog in the song Vegas. The film's use of irony and sincerity blended into romance, music, and Luhrmann's famous art style will win many hearts.
Viva Las Vegas (1964)
Viva Las Vegas is widely considered one of Elvis' best movies, and came out around the peak of his influence on music and pop culture in 1964. Elvis stars as Lucky Jackson, who comes to Vegas to win the Grand Prix, but falls for a young swim instructor as well as the highs of sin city itself.
As a film, Viva Las Vegas perfectly exemplifies why Elvis was such a cultural juggernaut of his time, acting as a great display of his one-of-a-kind charisma and on-screen presence, and his iconic singing voice is heard throughout the movie. Its slick style and sparkling cinematography has helped cement it as one of the great movie musicals.
Lilo & Stitch (2002)
For younger audiences, Lilo & Stitch will be their first introduction to the music of Elvis. The Disney animated movie portrays a young orphan outcast who strikes up a friendship with an alien hiding in Hawaii on the run from the Galactic Federation, and they bond through their quirks and love of Elvis' music.
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Lilo and Stitch's bond over his music plays a heartwarming central role as their friendship develops and helps inform international audiences about the Hawaiian concept of Ohana, an idea of family including blood relations and chosen family, where "nobody gets left behind".
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
Quentin Tarantino's semi-historical Once Upon A Time In Hollywood takes place in 1969, and is loosely based in Hollywood at the end of its Golden Age and before the dawn of the turbulent decade of the 1970s. Leonardo Dicaprio and Brad Pitt lead the film as two stars struggling with this new shift in the face of the growing Manson Family cult and the subsequent murders that they began that year.
Notably, Austin Butler, the star of Elvis, is in the film as Tex Watson, a serial killer that played a central role in the Manson Murders, particularly in the murder of Sharon Tate, which is also referenced in Elvis. For those who left Elvis wishing to see more of Butler's acting talents, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is a thrilling, although highly fictionalized, take on history.
Commonly referred to as the Elvis '68 Comeback Special, this made-for-TV concert movie was released after Presley had a patchy film career for a number of years and had been absent from the music charts that he once ruled. The concert was also the first time Elvis had performed live in quite a while, and its immensely positive reaction from audiences helped usher him back into the public consciousness and adoration.
The concert takes a prominent role in Elvis as a turning point in his career after a string of personal and career failures, as well as being Presley's personal way of coming to grips with America's tumultuous year of 1968. For those who left the biopic with a new appreciation and understanding of Presley, the film is worth checking out to see him in his prime.
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Bethany Gemmell is a writer from Edinburgh, Scotland. She has been an avid player of the Sims franchise since childhood and enjoys writing about a wide range of media, from Harry Styles to Star Wars.More From Bethany Gemmell