Search

Elvis & Nixon, film review: ‘Kevin Spacey is a perfect Richard Nixon’

PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 June 2016

Michael Shannon (left) stars as Elvis Presley and Kevin Spacey (right) stars as President Richard Nixon in Liza Johnson's ELVIS & NIXON. Picture: Steve Dietl

Michael Shannon (left) stars as Elvis Presley and Kevin Spacey (right) stars as President Richard Nixon in Liza Johnson's ELVIS & NIXON. Picture: Steve Dietl

2016 Bleecker Street

The meeting between the King and The Chief has a mythic air to it – perhaps because it happened in 1970 before Tricky Dicky got into taping every event that happened in the White House,

If it wasn’t for the photo of the pair of them shaking hands, it might have passed into urban legend.

The King Of Rock‘n’Roll volunteering to help wage the war on drugs has always been taken as a deeply significant moment in pop culture history, but nobody’s quite sure what it signified.

This film doesn’t take any great stand, preferring to spin slight, but amusing, entertainment out of it, based on the version told by Elvis’s close friend Jerry Schilling (a very engaging turn by Pettyfer).

The film’s great strength is its performances: Hanks and Peters make something memorable of Nixon’s aides, while Spacey is a perfect Nixon.

I think, though, we have to take issue with Shannon as Elvis.

At one point a character observes that, “he is taller than I thought he’d be,” which he certainly is, but also somewhat thinner and more gaunt.

When an Elvis impersonator doesn’t recognise him and comes up to congratulate him on the costume, you can’t blame him – he’s like a man in a Halloween costume, a Beetlejuice Elvis.

You look at him and think, this ain’t no template for Nicolas Cage’s whole career.

But it works for the characterisation, for he is meant to be a haunted man, a man trapped in his own persona.

Johnson’s movie makes the point a little too bluntly, but there is a touching scene where his reflection in the mirror talks to Schilling about how nobody sees him when he walks in the room any more; they just see their memories of him.

Rating: 3/5 stars

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

27 minutes ago

Clapton manager Jonny Fowell disappointed with poor performance from his men as they drew 3-3 with Southend Manor.

54 minutes ago

Arsenal have been drawn against Östersunds FK in the Europa League draw as they attempt to emulate Manchester United’s success in winning the trophy last season.

11:21

Spurs have been drawn against last season’s runners-up in next stage of this campaign’s competition

25 minutes ago

Mystery surrounds the identity of a man found dead on Hackney Marshes two years ago – with police no closer to knowing his name or what happened.

The 32-year-old put in easily his best display in an O’s shirt at the weekend after being given time to get back to full fitness

Detectives investigating the alleged rape of a woman have released CCTV footage of two men they wish to speak to.

12:15

Christmas has come early for a Haggerston brain injury charity after it was given £15,000 to continue a popular kitchen project.

A surge of “aggressive driving” in the streets around Cycle Superhighway 1 (CS1) from car and scooter users means another string of road closures could be on the cards.



Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read entertainment

Show Job Lists