Where to Watch: Theaters
Sofia Coppola, Sandra Harmon, Priscilla Presley (Based on the Novel)
Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi, Ari Cohen
Biography, Drama, Music
All media courtesy of A24
Salt Lake City, UT (ABC4)– Welcome to Graceland, the home of the Presleys, Elvis, and Priscilla. The property is a mansion, the rooms are immaculate, coated with The King’s style while feeling like a museum and monument to the greatest performer of his time. We see this home in so many versions of Elvis in film and television, but never until watching Priscilla did it feel like a prison, and this romance examined and taking focus over the music, warts, and all.
Based on the book written by Priscilla Presley “Elvis & Me”, is the story of how Priscilla and Elvis started their highly controversial romance when she was only 15, how her life had been subverted, and how her light was blocked directly in the shadow of Elvis.
Cailee Spaeny does an incredible job of showing the innocence of Priscilla, as well as the true love she and Elvis had for each other. She’s immediately swept away by his charm and the idea that nobody could pierce his heart quite like her. As the film progresses her transformation from a young girl to a disenchanted and maternal woman is awards-worthy, and I would be shocked if she weren’t nominated in multiple ceremonies this year. Jacob Elordi is a great Elvis for this story, giving more looks behind the curtains at how he felt about love, his relationship with Priscilla, and how he showed it.
The set design, costume design, and locations were incredibly stunning and authentic feeling to the era being portrayed. I found myself moved by the score and visuals and feel the cinematography could also award consideration. Where I did feel the film slightly falters is in its third act, where Priscilla’s story seems to wrap up too quickly, with story and bits and pieces that I felt the audience deserved to have shown in more detail.
Overall, Priscilla is a very interesting and heartbreaking look into Presley’s love life, but also beautifully raw and engaging. It didn’t feel disrespectful to the artist you know, if anything it humanizes him even more than last year’s Elvis, and if there’s anything modern celebrity has taught us is that we could use a lot more of that rather than building up celebrity “Persona”.