Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Can’t help falling in love with Coppola’s ‘Priscilla’

Sofia Coppola’s long awaited biopic “Priscilla,” starring Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi, hit theaters this Nov. 3. Astonishing and utterly truthful, Coppola does not hold back when it comes to exposing the King of Rock and his relationship with the young and fresh-faced Priscilla.

The movie starts when a 14-year-old Priscilla meets a 24-year-old Elvis at a party and the two begin their romance. The film takes the viewer through Priscilla’s entire relationship with Elvis, which is one filled with tumult, control and loneliness.

Spaeny’s acting is phenomenal from beginning to end, as she perfectly captures the childlike naivety of Priscilla when she first met Elvis. As Priscilla comes into her own throughout the course of the film, Spaeny still keeps undertones of this innocence, giving an overall nuanced and intricate performance.

Elordi was also a surprising standout in the film. Expectations for his performance were low, with many comparing him to Austin Butler’s Elvis from the movie “Elvis” before the film even came out. Elordi, however, plays a completely different version of Elvis than Butler, perfectly balancing Elvis’ suave style with his volatile outbursts. Elordi seems to be an expert in getting the audience to hate him.

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Coppola masterfully slowed the film’s pace to give the audience a sense of the loneliness Priscilla lived in for most of her and Elvis’ marriage. A good amount of the film is shots of Priscilla walking through the Graceland house, waiting for Elvis to come home. This choice really puts the audience in Priscilla’s shoes, showing her isolation and how being married to an international rock star may not be the glory it was made out to be.

Besides the unbelievable acting and story, this film is simply beautiful to watch. The cinematography gives the film a soft, dreamlike aesthetic, perfectly capturing Priscilla’s femininity and youthfulness. This, combined with the extraordinary makeup and costuming, makes the film simply stunning.

However, there are some notable differences between how Priscilla was portrayed here versus other films, like Baz Luhrman’s “Elvis.” In Luhrman’s film, Priscilla is portrayed as assertive and bold, especially when it comes to her confronting Elvis about his affairs and leaving their marriage.

In Coppola’s film, though, Priscilla is portrayed as subordinate, someone who desperately wants to speak up but does not feel that they have the power to do so. In “Priscilla”, when Priscilla confronts Elvis about leaving their marriage, she does so sheepishly and meekly.

Coppola’s interpretation almost seems more truthful in this portrayal, as it highlights how truly young Priscilla was when all of this happened to her, and shows the effect that being under Elvis’ “control” from a very young age had on her.

There is only one critique I have for the film: I wish it would have shown Priscilla’s life outside of Elvis. The film ends when Priscilla leaves the marriage, and the audience is left in the dark about the rest of her life. It would have been nice to see how she behaved when she was removed from that lifestyle and to see her find her voice.

Overall, “Priscilla” was an extremely raw and impactful retelling of Priscilla and Elvis’ relationship. Coppola wowed audiences with her unflinching take on one of Hollywood’s most famous relationships. This film is sure to be worth the watch.

“Priscilla” is available to watch in theaters now.

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