While Priscilla does work as a counterpoint to Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, it doesn’t end up being as memorable by the end.


When teenage Priscilla Beaulieu meets Elvis Presley, the man who is already a meteoric rock-and-roll superstar becomes someone entirely unexpected in private moments: a thrilling crush, an ally in loneliness, a vulnerable best friend.

The story of the tumultuous relationship between Priscilla Beaulieu and Elvis Presley is told in Priscilla. In 1959, 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu () is living in Germany with her stepfather Captain Beaulieu () and mother Ann (). Priscilla is invited to a party hosted by an army cadet and rock and roll superstar Elvis Presley (). Elvis becomes enamoured with Priscilla, and she is eventually invited to live with him at Graceland with his father Vernon () and Grandma “Dodger” (). Despite being the love of Elvis' life, Priscilla ends up having a lonely existence while the King is on the road.

Priscilla Synopsis

Priscilla is a biopic written and directed by Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, On the Rocks), based on Priscilla Presley's 1985 autobiography Elvis and Me. The film tells the couple's relationship from their first meeting in 1959 through to their 1967 marriage and subsequent divorce in 1973. The story is told entirely from Priscilla's point of view, as her initial crush on Elvis soon gives way to an abusive absentee relationship marred by drug use and tabloid rumours.

My Thoughts on Priscilla

While I'm unsure how long Sofia Coppola has been working on Priscilla, it is probably no coincidence that the film is arriving a little over a year after Baz Luhrmann's Elvis, with Priscilla acting as a counterpoint to that film. One fact that Priscilla does not shy away from is that Priscilla Beaulieu was only 14 years old when she first met 24-year-old Elvis Presley. From a modern viewpoint, this relationship can be interpreted as Elvis grooming the underage Priscilla, even though she maintains in both her autobiography and recent interviews that the relationship never became sexual after their marriage, at which time Priscilla was 21.

Even without the uneasy ten-year age difference, Priscilla doesn't really portray Elvis in a positive light, as he would frequently leave Priscilla alone at Graceland while the tabloid spread rumours of numerous affairs. In many ways, Priscilla is more about the years of loneliness she helps, as Priscilla and Elvis lead separate lives. Even the birth of their daughter didn't slow the rock and roll superstar down.

Speaking of their daughter, while Priscilla was produced with the cooperation of Priscilla Presley, who has an Executive Producer credit, her daughter Lisa Marie Presley was reportedly not happy with the depiction of her father as a manipulative predator. She had been planning to speak out against the film but tragically passed away earlier this year before filming even commenced. While I don't know what Lisa Marie Presley would have thought of the final film, I understand why she would be upset after watching it.

I do have to praise the lead performance of Cailee Spaeny (Bad Times at the El Royale, On the Basis of Sex) for believingly being able to portray Priscilla Presley from a 14-year-old teenager to her mid-20s, thanks to period-accurate makeup and hairstyles. Sadly, the same can't be said for Jacob Elordi (Euphoria) as Elvis Presley, who is very likely going to be unfavourably compared to last year's performance by in Elvis, with Elordi's performance coming off much more like an imitation.

Ultimately, while Priscilla does work as a counterpoint to Baz Luhrmann's Elvis, it doesn't end up being as memorable by the end.

Trailer for Priscilla

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