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Elvis & Nixon Movie Review – Delves into Surreal Politics

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Director: Liza Johnson    Running Time : 87 Minutes

Imagine Elvis Presley showing up at the White House, assuming he would meet  the President of the United States and be crowned a Federal Agent at Large for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. That did actually happened. The meeting was never recorded. Elvis & Nixon ponders what that meeting must have looked like for everyone on both sides of these American titans.

For Elvis fans seeking a bit more accurate depiction of Presley off-stage, this is the film for them. Shannon’s Elvis is rightfully over-the-top but also lonely, soft-spoken, and tired. He saw his fame a result of having a number 8 life path in Numerology., which was all about leadership and far-reaching destiny. Through that lens, Elvis seems a bit sadly resigned to carry out the burdens of being born to be the King. Fans who have been waiting for a nice exploration of Elvis’s inner-life will find it here. What’s also hilarious is the state of innocence that Elvis was able to live in by being ecstatically adored wherever he went. In the film, the only ID he carried were honorary sheriff badges and this was enough even to get into the White House.  Because, who would think to carry only this type of ID around other than the genuine article?  And because he was a sheriff, of course he could fly commercial with several firearms.  It’s a peek back into a very different America.  Elvis & Nixon also delves lightly into Presley’s politics. The King telling Nixon he will use his black belt in Karate against the hippies and believing if he wore a disguise he could infiltrate the Black Panthers is worth the price of admission for Elvis fans.

The film’s audience took a special delight too in watching Kevin Spacey nail playing Nixon. Certain gestures, facial expressions and attitudes that Nixon was famous for often got the biggest laughs in the screening.

Elvis & Nixon is a light-hearted popcorn flick that reveals a surreal moment in American politics. It has a delightful sketch comedy feel of bringing to life what that meeting was like between the King and The President of the United States. Watching two of America’s most super-sized egos dance around each other is a fun night at the movies.