Can you imagine being invited to a party with one of the biggest stars on the planet and literally watch your fantasy become a reality? Neither did Priscilla Beaulieu, whose crush turned her into one of the most envied teenages on the globe. Elvis and Priscilla Presley were allies in loneliness and vulnerability which led them to some amazingly unexpected private moment.
Directed and written by Sofia Coppola (inspired by Priscilla’s book “Elvis and Me”), she unmasks the unseen side of an American Icon, the couple’s lengthy courtship from Germany to Graceland and their turbulent marriage in a delicately detailed portrait of love, fantasy and fame.
From the opening teaser shot of perfectly manicured feet swimming through shag carpet, coupled with Presley’s signature eyeliner the audience is preps for a sweet journey with two individuals growing up together while growing apart.
Cailee Spaeny perfectly straddles the line of being a young, introverted woman away from home to a mother/wife trying to navigate being thrown into a world of celebrity chaos all because she fell in love with a superstar. One of my favorite moments is the look on her parents face after returning from Graceland with wild hair coupled black streaks of eyeliner strewn down her cheeks. It gives context into her plane ride melt down never seen on camera, but every grown women who has been that teen girl knows exactly what that moment looks and feels like. “Reading Priscilla’s story for the first time, “Priscilla has traditionally been this minor character in the Elvis story, but she saw the whole history
through a fascinating and completely different lens,” Sofia Coppola recalls.
After watching Austin Butler place such an indelible stamp on portraying Elvis, Australian Jacob Elordi takes this iconic persona to a whole new level unveiling an Elvis Presley as a tortured, insecure eccentric man tortured by his lack of anonymity while trying to navigate a family and marriage. Coppola shares, “He [Elordi] drew from Priscilla’s descriptions of Elvis as someone who was always searching for something elusive and easily frustrated.”
It goes without saying the entire creative team from production design, editing, makeup and hair departments capture the energy and style of this era exquisitely. It takes a lot to endure a lifestyle one didn’t choose, to grow up in the eyes of millions, be judged, ridiculed and still rise above all the adversity despite all of it. Priscilla Presley is a true icon of strength, tenacity and proof that sometimes fairy tales really do come true.