Priscilla – The DVDfever Cinema Review – Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi

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Priscilla… Priscilla Presley.

If there’s one thing Sofia Coppola‘s (The Virgin Suicides) new movie does, it gets straight to the point where, on an US Army Base in 1959, the young 14-year-old, played by Cailee Spaeny (Mare of Easttown), is invited to the home of one Elvis Aaron Presley (Jacob ElordiSaltburn), at which she’s impressed by his singing… and it’s clearly the real Elvis who we hear, not the voice of Mr Elordi.

As the burgeoning relationship begins, Elvis feels like a genuine individual, stating how he likes to talk to people from back home, because he’s hardly there – given how his career took off, and he’s still grieving the loss of his mother.

But it ain’t all sunshine and rainbows, since aside from his career, Elvis is going into the army and the pair go long periods without seeing each other – since he’s off making films, leading her to think that he’s having affairs with various female co-stars, although it would help if she didn’t keep believing the mainstream media press and the bunkum they print.

And even when he is at home, he has so many hangers-on, they barely have a moment to themselves.

Interestingly, while the True Romance theme (Hans Zimmer’s You’re So Cool) comes up at their engagement – from a film released in 1993, there’s not a single Elvis track in Priscilla. I’m not sure if this was because of a rights issue, but then it’s not required, since it’s not about him in the main, but her.

Alas, uninterestingly, her life is boring, which makes the film boring, as she’s just sat around most of the time, waiting for him to come home. And we’re sat in the cinema, waiting for the meandering plot to conclude, and the end credits to come.

I’m not sure how much of their relationship is accurate, but Elvis often comes across as antagonistic and controlling – something frowned upon by their late daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, in emails to Sofia just a year before she died.

That said, it was based on Priscilla Presley’s Elvis And Me, and does have her seal of approval.

What I’m definitely sure is not real, is that while I’m sure Elvis had lights in his house, most of this movie feels like it was filmed in the dark.

It also wasn’t very well attended. On the same day, I saw One Life in a much busier, but smaller room, while Priscilla was quiet, even being in the largest non-premium room they have at Cineworld.

As an aside, I did think at the time that Jacob Elordi could make a good Superman if James Gunn was still looking for a leading actor for 2025’s Superman: Legacy – although I understand the man of steel will be portrayed by David Corenswet, the projectionist in Pearl); and as a completely random observation, Ari Cohen – as Priscilla’s stepfather, Captain Beaulieu – looks like former BBC journalist Jon Sopel. Then again, I could be wrong. I did say that most of the film is shot in the dark!

Priscilla is in cinemas now, and is available to pre-order on Blu-ray and DVD, ahead of its release date TBA.

However, until that’s out, you can also buy the book on which this film is based.

Priscilla – Official Trailer – A24

Detailed specs:

Running time: 110 minutes
Release date: January 1st 2024
Studio: A24
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (Arri Alexa 35, Panavision Ultra Speed and Angenieux HR LensesBolex H-16, Kern Paillard Vario-Switar Lenses (some scenes))
Cinema: Cineworld Didsbury
Rating: 4/10

Director: Sofia Coppola
Producers: Sofia Coppola, Youree Henley, Lorenzo Mieli
Screenplay: Sofia Coppola
Based on “Elvis and Me” by Priscilla Presley, Sandra Harmon
Music: Phoenix, Sons of Raphael

Priscilla Presley: Cailee Spaeny
Elvis Presley: Jacob Elordi
Captain Beaulieu, Priscilla’s stepfather: Ari Cohen
Priscilla’s mother: Dagmara Dominczyk
Elvis’ father: Tim Post
Grandma “Dodger” (Elvis’ grandmother): Lynne Griffin
Joe Esposito: Daniel Beirne
Alan “Hog Ears”: Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll
Jerry Schilling: Dan Abramovici
Larry Geller: R Austin Ball
Alberta, the cook: Olivia Barrett
Dee Presley, Elvis’ stepmother: Stephanie Moore
Terry West: Luke Humphrey
Mike Stone: Evan Annisette
Lisa Marie Presley (age 5): Emily Mitchell