- Sofia Coppola’s newest movie, “Priscilla,” fantastically explores the lifetime of Priscilla Presley, highlighting her journey from a younger woman residing along with her household in Germany to a lady who finds her personal id.
- Cailee Spaeny delivers a surprising efficiency as younger Priscilla, capturing her naivety and steely curiosity, whereas Jacob Elordi’s portrayal of Elvis is seductive but quietly sinister, revealing his want for management in each his non-public and public life.
- The movie portrays the facility imbalances, manipulation, and abuse in Priscilla’s relationship with Elvis, however finally celebrates her resilience and refusal to be outlined solely by her connection to the legendary performer. “Priscilla” is a narrative of self-discovery and a brand new starting for a lady who lived in Elvis’ shadow.
Simply final 12 months, the King of Rock and Roll acquired a biopic bursting with life, however as Elvis took awards season by storm, one other film that includes the prolific music artist was in manufacturing. Sofia Coppola’s follow-up to 2020’s On the Rocks adapts Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir Elvis and Me, specializing in the lady behind the icon, who turned one in her personal proper. Priscilla is one other masterwork from Coppola, a research of a lady in a gilded cage and her journey to freedom with two central performances that can go down as a number of the finest in Coppola’s total filmography.
Priscilla is bound to garner comparisons to Elvis, however, inside her personal physique of labor, many will look to Marie Antoinette as a form of companion piece to her elegantly subdued biopic. The movie begins when Priscilla (Cailee Spaeny) continues to be in highschool, learning in Germany whereas residing along with her household. She is simply 14 when she meets Elvis (Jacob Elordi), who’s 24 on the time and serving within the army. Priscilla is rapidly swept up into Elvis’s orbit, dropped at his rented German house by pals the place she is thrust into an unfamiliar but engaging world. Spaeny performs younger Priscilla with a fragile naïveté that’s underscored however steely curiosity. She is aware of what she needs — or at the very least, she thinks she does.
None of this may work with out Elordi’s slinky efficiency. The place Austin Butler’s Oscar-nominated flip as Elvis was bombastic and borderline camp (and has prolonged past filming as Butler continued to make use of the accent in public appearances), Elordi’s Elvis is seductive and quietly sinister. He is bashful when round Priscilla, however there are flashes of one thing darker that complicates his relationship with Priscilla and provides away his want for management, each in Elvis’ non-public and public life. It appears Elordi has realized from the extra overt evil of his Euphoria character Nate Jacobs, making manner for one thing far more delicate however simply as unsettling. Watching Priscilla react and adapt to that is a part of what makes her journey within the movie all of the extra intriguing.
It is an elusive journey, however Spaeny provides it her all. When she arrives at Graceland, Coppola’s movie turns into virtually claustrophobic, the pictures emphasizing the partitions that encompass her. Elvis’ bed room is darkish, virtually a cave, and the couple spend loads of time there. As Elvis disappears for months at a time, although, Graceland begins to really feel extra like a jail than a citadel. This appears to be the place the companionship with Marie Antoinette is most obvious — two younger girls dropped at unfamiliar worlds and perched like prizes inside their respective palaces. The place Marie refuses to depart, although, Priscilla yearns for the skin world.
Spaeny is a revelation and with the assistance of the movie’s hair and make-up staff, Priscilla’s progress from a doe-eyed and amiable younger woman to a lady with company who is aware of what she wants is obvious in each inch of her efficiency. As flashes of Elvis reveal a darker aspect to the legendary performer, Spaeny’s eyes are each fearful and weary earlier than a steely form of resolve takes over within the movie’s closing scenes. It is a star-making flip, one which actually deserves awards recognition, as does Elordi’s flip as Elvis. Their chemistry is palpable which pays dividends when their inevitable finish comes.
Coppola’s thought of freedom just isn’t some brash show of breakage and that is the place she finds the wonder in Priscilla’s story. Regardless of its show of energy imbalances, manipulation, and outright abuse, Priscilla is finally a narrative a few woman coming into her personal as a lady, discovering who she is regardless of the life round her insisting that she is only a replaceable cog in a celeb machine. Priscilla refuses to be introduced down by Elvis’ whims and his eventual poisonous conduct, proven briefly in the direction of the tip of the movie. It isn’t about him or his ending, although. In a manner, Priscilla does not have an ending in any respect. It ends with a brand new starting for the lady who lived in Elvis’ shadow for therefore lengthy.
Priscilla releases in nationwide theaters on November 3. The movie is 113 minutes lengthy and rated R for drug use and a few language.