The film is a period piece that subtly thrives on style and fashion. All of the costuming reminds us of the seventies, full of old-fashioned jackets for Presley's crew and formal garb for Nixon's White House workers. Johnson uses the costuming considerably well, fitting the audience into the 70s without forcing cliches into their eyes. Still, we remember that things were a lot different back in the day! Smoking and gun laws are constant topics throughout the film, furthering our knowledge of the time period.
The casting choices are quite interesting, originally shocking me in the trailers. Kevin Spacey (The Usual Suspects, House of Cards) once again portrays a POTUS, but this time he plays one that is unexpected. Nixon was a very traditional guy, and Spacey portrays him well. The even more iconic role of Elvis Presley is played by Michael Shannon (Man of Steel). This casting choice looked like a miscast role from the trailers, but Shannon proves that he is a flexible actor. Shannon is capable of playing Elvis, but this is not the flashy Elvis that we have come to expect. The mannerisms are there, but the enthusiasm is lacking a bit. Still, I was impressed that Shannon was capable of playing such a different role than his usual castings provide.
The Bottom Line: The story is interesting and subtly stylish, even if Michael Shannon is an odd choice to play the King of Rock n' Roll.