by Tia Shah
"People are curious about your story because you have mystique, which is so rare today."
Coppola stated the aforementioned quote to Priscilla Presley herself in The Hollywood Reporter feature. An air of mystique is only typical in the films of Sofia Coppola, a favorite director among film critics known for her depictions of girlhood. Her most notable works arguably include 'Marie Antoinette' and 'The Virgin Suicides,' adaptations of historical women and a book, just like Priscilla's story. This film is an adaptation of Priscilla Presley's book, 'Elvis & Me,' revealing the world of Elvis the man and their enduring love story amidst tragedy.
It's unsurprising that Coppola was drawn to a story centered around the transition from girlhood to womanhood, exploring feminine identity and self-discovery in the shadow of great love and sorrow. Sofia Coppola's films often feel hazy and dreamlike, as though they transport us to another reality through their soft color palettes. She takes intensity and makes it palatable and aesthetically pleasing. At the end of the day, the more sensitive aspects of the relationship, such as affairs, control, and the age difference, are not hidden behind Priscilla's love for Elvis but are portrayed nonetheless.
Priscilla told Cailee Spaeny, who stars as her younger self, that "what mattered was that the love was there, the care was there." It's essential to note that Priscilla Presley was the executive producer, ensuring her voice is heard in the film and overseeing the sensitivity she desired.
Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla and Jacob Elordi as Elvis, known for his role as Nate Jacobs in Euphoria, both step into roles somewhat different from their previous work, leaving us uncertain about what to expect from their portrayals. However, Priscilla's tears and the seven-minute standing ovation received at the Venice Film Festival suggest a moving performance.
The soundtrack does not feature any of Elvis' tracks but is composed of indie pop and rock, marking a narrative shift from Elvis to Priscilla's point of view compared to the Elvis biopic from last year.
The film premiered on September 4th at the Venice Film Festival and is set for a cinema release on October 27th. Early reviews are glowing, creating significant anticipation for what is certain to be an intimate cinematic experience provided by Sofia Coppola, as her works often are.