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25 Jul 2016

Blu-Ray Review: 'Elvis and Nixon' Is a Quirky Film Elevated by Stars Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey

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There’s a truly weird story behind the real picture of Elvis Presley shaking Richard Nixon’s hand in the Oval Office—and director Liza Johnson does a funny job of telling it.

One morning in December 1970, Elvis (Michael Shannon) showed up, uninvited, on the White House lawn seeking a meeting with the president. Elvis was determined to become some sort of undercover narcotics agent—prepared to bust fellow rock stars for drugs and make the entertainment world a safer place. Nixon (Kevin Spacey) begrudgingly let him in, because his kid wanted an autograph.

It’s impossible to say how much of this movie is really factual, but Spacey is awesome as Nixon, while Shannon makes for a nutty, soft-spoken Elvis. The two are great in their scenes together, and the movie works as a biography for both figures. They give the icons some nice dimension within the movie’s 86-minute running time.

Special Features: There’s an audio commentary with the director and producer Jerry Schilling, a friend of Elvis’ who was on the trip to Washington, D.C. with him.

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