Cailee Spaeny is outstanding as Priscilla Presley in Sofia Coppola’s new movie (Image: A24/Sabrina Lantos)
Following Elvis Presley’s reinvigoration by Baz Luhrmann’s musical biopic Elvis final 12 months, Sofia Coppola has now stepped as much as the plate with Priscilla, her sumptuously trendy film concerning the rock ‘n’ roll icon’s spouse.
Infamously only a woman of 14 once they met out in West Germany in 1959 – the place her stepfather was stationed and Elvis was enterprise army service – Priscilla Beaulieu charmed the decade-older music star, main them to conduct a chaste love affair.
Lots has been stated about their relationship beforehand, and Elvis has been extensively portrayed on display by the likes of Austin Butler, Michael Shannon and Kurt Russell, however Coppola places Priscilla firmly within the soft-glow highlight right here.
In a movie that’s attractive to behold, the author and director nails the sensation of a being a giddy teenage woman, swept alongside by the real-life fantasy of being desired by probably the most well-known males on the planet.
There’s no judgement of their relationship, as Priscilla (a masterfully underplayed efficiency from Mare of Easttown’s Cailee Spaeny) takes a considerably passive function in her personal life, organised and managed by the boys.
Nevertheless, a few of the extra surreal moments within the movie are performed for mild snorts because of satisfying supply or timing – like Priscilla’s response to an invite to fulfill Elvis (Euphoria star Jacob Elordi) at his home and Elvis later rocking up in his automobile to choose Priscilla up for a date – as requested by her mother and father – prefer it’s a very regular state of affairs for him.
The 25-year-old offers us all the teenager angst required of her notorious relationship with Elvis (Image: A24/Sabrina Lantos)
Coppola nails the fantasy ingredient of Priscilla and Elvis’s (Jacob Elordi) romance, avoiding passing judgement (Image: A24/Sabrina Lantos)
It’s clear that Priscilla was a girl of her time, moulded so younger by Elvis’s tastes that she struggled to have a voice: He decides on her wardrobe, make-up and dolled up fashion, whereas surrounding her together with his Memphis Mafia entourage.
Sticking to the real-life determine’s insistence that they didn’t have intercourse till they had been married, Coppola avoids any ickiness in charged intimate scenes between the couple, even when Priscilla is just 16. As a substitute, Elvis appears considerably obsessive about not ‘despoiling’ her – when he heads again to Hollywood from Germany in early 1960, he even begs her to remain ‘precisely as she is’.
Primarily based on its topic’s 1985 autobiography Elvis and Me, it appears protected to say that that is how Priscilla needed their relationship portrayed onscreen, particularly given her emotional response to the film at its Venice Movie Pageant world premiere – and her function as an government producer.
Regardless of Elvis’s official property reportedly being unimpressed by the movie, in line with TMZ, the star will get off extra evenly than anticipated.
The couple makes an attempt to navigate the pressures of The King’s way of life and profession (Image: A24/Ken Woroner)
Priscilla, after all, seems fabulous because of its attractive classic styling (Image: A24/Philippe Le Sourd)
There are flashes of ugliness in Elordi’s Elvis, helped alongside by the actor’s intimidating peak, like when he throws a chair at Priscilla for daring to counsel she doesn’t love his new music after he’s already dismissed it.
Alongside his fast mood and want to have Priscilla be solely at his beck and name, the film additionally doesn’t shrink back from the affairs both – on each side – with Elvis confronted by his younger girlfriend over his relationship with Viva Las Vegas co-star Ann-Margret.
There’s a sense of Coppola glossing over issues a bit of nevertheless, and she or he’s clear in suggesting some sympathy for Elvis too, caught in a loop of tablets and a slave to the strain of his tumultuous profession.
The top comes a bit of abruptly after a sag in pacing, nevertheless it offers audiences a second to savour with Priscilla lastly discovering her company – and to Dolly Parton’s I Will All the time Love You, notable given Coppola’s revelation that she wasn’t allowed to make use of any of Elvis’s music within the movie (and Parton refused to grant Presley permission to file the music).
The movie firmly places Priscilla within the highlight after Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis final 12 months (Image: A24/Sabrina Lantos)
According to Coppla’s again catalogue like Marie Antoinette and Misplaced in Translation, Priscilla has an immaculate vibe and is a visible feast for the eyes, draped in gorgeous costumes by the likes of Valentino and Chanel, and unimaginable consideration to element with classic props and styling.
Elordi offers a stable and fully plausible efficiency as Elvis, offering charisma sufficient to grasp Priscilla’s infatuation.
Nevertheless, it’s a supporting function, with Spaeny the stand-out star because of the 25-year-old’s capability to channel quiet teen turmoil and naiveté so successfully, in addition to let Coppola’s digicam in on her most intimate ideas with out saying a phrase.
Count on nice issues from her sooner or later.
Priscilla begins UK preview screenings on December 26, earlier than wider launch on January 1, 2024.