Priscilla Presley Gives ‘Elvis’ Director ‘Best Review’ He’s Ever Received

by Caitlin Berard

Though Baz Lurhmann’s Elvis Presley biopic, Elvis, has yet to hit theaters, plenty of people have already given the film a rave review. The film premiered earlier this week at the Cannes Film Festival and received an incredible 12-minute standing ovation that brought Baz Luhrmann, Elvis star Austin Butler, and Priscilla Presley to tears.

Then there’s the entire Presley family, who saw the film before its premiere. Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley, and Riley Keough, Elvis’ granddaughter, all gave the movie high praise. And it was the praise from the Presley family that Baz Luhrmann and Austin Butler found more gratifying than the reaction of any other audience.

At a press conference for Elvis, director Baz Luhrmann shared the review he received from Elvis Presley’s widow, Priscilla. “No critique, no review was ever going to mean more to us than the one from the woman who was married to him. She said, ‘If my husband was here today, he’d say, ‘Hot damn, you are me.” It was the best review I’ve ever had.”

Priscilla Presley Gave Austin Butler Her Blessing Ahead of Elvis Movie

When he earned the role of Elvis, Austin Butler knew he had his work cut out for him. Bringing The King to life is no small task, and he was determined to get it right. So for three years, Austin Butler lived and breathed Elvis Presley. He walked, talked, and danced like Elvis, and refused to consume any media that wasn’t an Elvis production.

Austin Butler poured his heart into his Elvis performance but it might have all been for nothing, had the Presley family disapproved of the film. As luck would have it, however, Butler and Baz Luhrmann found themselves at Graceland early in the production process. And while they were there, Priscilla Presley gave Austin Butler her personal blessing to play Elvis in the movie.

“She just looked me in the eyes,” Butler explained to Twitter Movies. “And there was something so profound about staring into these eyes that meant so much to Elvis. I mean, it’s giving me chills right now. And she said, ‘You have a lot of support,’ and she hugged me. That was so huge for me, getting that blessing.”

Lisa Marie Presley Broke Social Media Hiatus to Praise ‘Elvis’

Since the tragic death of her son, Lisa Marie Presley seldom posts on social media, devoting all of her time to her remaining children. When she saw Elvis, however, the daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley was so moved by Austin Butler’s portrayal of her late father that she broke her social media hiatus to praise the movie.

“Austin Butler channeled and embodied my father’s heart and soul beautifully,” she wrote. “In my humble opinion, his performance is unprecedented and FINALLY done accurately and respectfully. If he doesn’t get an Oscar for this, I will eat my own foot.”