Cinema Review: Priscilla

Posted 7 months ago in Cinema Reviews


Imagine being 14-years-old, struggling to find friends since relocating to Germany, where your father is stationed, and receiving an invitation to a small gathering in Elvis Presley’s (aged 24) home. The natural reaction fizzes between giddy disbelief and the dread at having to ask for your parents’ permission, which seems almost as impossible to attain as the invitation itself.

This is how Priscilla, written and directed by Sofia Coppola, welcomes us into a story that often makes you feel a similar cocktail of disbelief and dread when observing the turmoil and tedium endured by Priscilla Beaulieu Presley throughout her 14-year long relationship with Elvis Presley.

Coppola effectively translates the overwhelming sense of isolation Priscilla endured throughout her relationship with The King by setting the vast majority of the film within the luxurious surrounds of Graceland. Regularly abandoned for extended periods while Elvis worked on film sets and, as she would find out in magazines, engaged in affairs with his co-stars.

Priscilla doesn’t shy away from depicting the emotional and physical abuse she experienced throughout their relationship. The film features first-hand accounts of the singer’s addiction to prescription pills and his controlling behaviour which included shaping how she dressed (her petite figure, in his opinion, was not conducive to wearing bold patterns) and who she interacted with.

Starring Jacob Elordi, of Saltburn and Euphoria-fame, the towering Australian actor is excellent as Elvis Presley. However, Cailee Spaeny in the titular role doesn’t always convey the character to its fullest potential but is powerful in demonstrating his overpowering physicality over her.

The attention to detail in the sets throughout the film and the classic Sofia Coppola style that exudes across her filmography lead to a visually striking cinema experience which leaves a lasting impression.

Words: Zara Hedderman


Director: Sofia Coppola

Talent: Jacob Elordi, Cailee Spaeny

Release Date: January 1


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