In the cinematic world of 2023, we’re treated to “Priscilla,” a biographical drama film that takes us on an emotional journey. This captivating piece of cinema is not only directed by Sofia Coppola but also written and co-produced by her. The story draws inspiration from Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir, “Elvis and Me,” which she co-authored with Sandra Harmon. Notably, Priscilla Presley also holds the role of executive producer for the film.
“Priscilla” unveils the life and times of Priscilla Presley and, more significantly, her profound relationship with the legendary Elvis Presley. The talented duo of Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi brings this narrative to life, portraying Priscilla and Elvis, respectively.
This cinematic gem made its grand debut at the 80th Venice International Film Festival on September 4, 2023. It later graced the theaters in the United States, courtesy of A24, with a limited release on October 27, 2023. As a delightful treat for movie enthusiasts, the film expanded its reach to wider audiences on November 3, 2023.
“Priscilla” promises to be an intriguing exploration of the life and love story of Priscilla and Elvis Presley, offering a glimpse into their world and the emotions that bound them together.
Priscilla Movie Info
|Drama, Romance, Biography, Music
|“Elvis and Me” by Priscilla Presley and Sandra Harmon
|Sofia Coppola, Youree Henley, Lorenzo Mieli
|Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi, Dagmara Domińczyk
|Philippe Le Sourd
|Phoenix, Sons of Raphael
|American Zoetrope, The Apartment Pictures
|September 4, 2023 (Venice), October 27, 2023 (United States)
|1 hour 53 minutes
Priscilla Release Date
“Priscilla” had its world premiere at the 80th Venice International Film Festival on September 4, 2023. It was also showcased as the Centerpiece Selection at the 2023 New York Film Festival on October 6. The Canadian premiere occurred as a special presentation at the 42nd Vancouver International Film Festival on October 7.
In terms of distribution, the film was handled by A24 in the United States and Vision Distribution in Italy. Originally, Stage 6 Films and Sony Pictures Releasing International were set to distribute it outside the United States and Italy. However, Mubi later acquired these rights, with The Match Factory, one of its companies, overseeing international sales. Mubi itself took on distribution in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, the Benelux, Turkey, and Latin America.
When Priscilla Beaulieu, a teenage girl, first crosses paths with the rock-and-roll sensation Elvis Presley at a party, she discovers a side of him that the world doesn’t see. Behind the fame and stardom, he becomes her thrilling crush, a confidant in moments of loneliness, and an unexpectedly vulnerable best friend. Through Priscilla’s perspective, Sofia Coppola unfolds the untold story of the legendary American icon, capturing their enduring courtship and the rollercoaster of their marriage. From a German army base to the enchanting world of Graceland, this portrayal delves deep into the realms of love, fantasy, and the price of fame.
|Alan ‘Hog Ears’
|R Austin Ball
|Girl at Party
Priscilla Production and Filming
In September 2022, the exciting news broke that Sofia Coppola would be directing an adaptation of Priscilla Presley’s memoir, “Elvis and Me.” The film stars Jacob Elordi as Elvis Presley and Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla Presley. When asked about her decision to adapt Priscilla’s memoir, Coppola revealed her long-standing connection with the book, explaining, “I’ve had her memoir for years and remember reading it a long time ago. A friend of mine was talking about her recently, and we got around to discussing the book. I read it again and was really moved by her story.” She originally had another project in the works but decided to shift her focus to this heartfelt tale of Priscilla’s journey, navigating the challenges of growing up as a teenager at Graceland.
Regarding the casting choices, Coppola explained why Cailee Spaeny was the perfect fit for Priscilla: “The character goes from the age of 15 to 27 over the course of the film, so she had to be able to act and age across a big span of time. It was really important for me to have the same actress playing Priscilla at those different stages of her life, and I think Cailee can pull it off. She’s such a strong actress, and she also looks very young.” As for Jacob Elordi, she noted his magnetic presence and how well he could step into the role of a romantic icon.
Coppola also shared that Priscilla Presley serves as an executive producer for the film. Interestingly, “Priscilla” doesn’t feature Elvis Presley’s music in its soundtrack. Instead, the music was supervised by Thomas Mars, Coppola’s husband, and his band, Phoenix. Sons of Raphael composed the music specifically for the film.
Filming for “Priscilla” commenced in Toronto on October 24, 2022, and wrapped up in early December of the same year.
Priscilla Reception (Critical Response)
“Priscilla” has garnered a positive reception from critics. On the popular review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, an impressive 92% of the 75 critics’ reviews express admiration for the film, with an average rating of 7.5/10. The website’s consensus summarizes the sentiment, stating, “With Cailee Spaeny’s performance in the title role leading the way, Priscilla sees Sofia Coppola taking a tender yet clear-eyed look at the often toxic blend created by mixing first love and fame.”
On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average to assess critical opinion, the film earned a remarkable score of 82 out of 100. This score is based on feedback from 28 critics, signifying “universal acclaim.”
BBC Culture’s Nicholas Barber particularly appreciated “Priscilla” for offering an “understated, non-judgemental portrait” of Priscilla Presley. This approach was notably different from the tone found in Baz Luhrmann’s rendition of Elvis Presley’s story in “Elvis” (2022).
In summary, “Priscilla” has struck a chord with both critics and audiences, who have praised its nuanced storytelling and the captivating performance of Cailee Spaeny in the lead role.