kevin spacey

Film Review: In “Elvis & Nixon,” the King meets the Prez

Michael Shannon as Elvis and Kevin Spacey as Nixon make for a slight but very amusing treat

No doubt you’ve seen the famous 1970 photo of President Richard M. Nixon and Elvis Presley shaking hands in the Oval Office, which was just about as incongruous a coupling of rock ‘n’ roll and the Establishment as anyone could have imagined at the time. What on earth did they have to talk about? Who arranged the meeting? And why?

Kevin Spacey stars as Richard Nixon (left) and Michael Shannon stars as Elvis Presley (right) in Liza Johnson’s ELVIS & NIXON, an Amazon Studios / Bleecker Street release.

Kevin Spacey stars as Richard Nixon (left) and Michael Shannon stars as Elvis Presley (right) in Liza Johnson’s ELVIS & NIXON, an Amazon Studios / Bleecker Street release.

Some of the answers to those questions are known, and the ones that aren’t, well, “Elvis & Nixon” — a jaunty, silly movie about a trivial event — makes ’em up, then has Kevin Spacey (Nixon) and Michael Shannon (Elvis) act them out. The casting alone is a delight. Were you even aware that you needed Michael Shannon’s Elvis impersonation in your life? Most likely not, and yet once you see it, you cannot live without it.

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