12 Feb 2012

Dolores Hart gave Elvis his first onscreen kiss in ‘Loving You’ in 1957. By 1963 she had left the film industry and became a nun. 
God is the Bigger Elvis tells the story of Hart’s journey from Hollywood to the monastrey; allowing us access into her day to day life.  

The film’s focus is about the journey, not the beginning.  Only a fraction of the 37 minute running time covers her performance opposite Elvis (and other stars such as Montgomery Clift).  
I’m not a religious person at all , but Hart gives a convincing explanation as to her reasons for leaving behind Hollywood.  Even at her elderly age, she is an engaging figure – and her story and the commitment she gave to her faith above everything else – help build an interesting documentary. 

About three quarters of the way through the film, a subtle subplot develops which eventually gathers momentum to becomes the focal point of the final 15 minutes.   It adds an emotional layer to the story that could have easily ran out of steam. 

Director Rebecca Cammisa skillfully juggles multiple storylines across the short documentary and allows us to form our own opinions on Hart’s life decisions.  During the film I found myself asking ”Would I have left Hollywood?”  and ‘How difficult must it have been to let go of such potential’.  

God is the Bigger Elvis is a thoroughly entertaining and engaging film.
The final moments of the documentary delivers one of the finest endings you will see in a film all year.  It forced me to rewatch and re-evaluate certain scenes and my initial thoughts about Dolores.
That is the reason why I love this genre above any other.

Director: Rebecca Cammisa
Running Time: 37 minutes
Score: 3 stars