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Champaign Central Chronicle

Champaign Central Chronicle

Priscilla’s everything. He’s just Elvis.

Priscillas everything. Hes just Elvis.

Priscilla, released on November 3rd, is another beautifully made movie by Sofia Coppola, which adapts Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir “Elvis & Me” about her life and marriage to Elvis Presley.

Director Sofia Coppola is very good at directing nightmares that pretend to be dreams. A dark yet honest depiction of a notoriously disguised relationship and the demise of a child’s innocence, that subverts the idyllic life of fame and transforms it into a portrait of isolation. The film details the typical girl meets superstar, but this time in a more twisted sense as we’ve realized that Priscilla Presley was only 14 when she first fell for the man behind the music and soul that captured a nation.

Cailee Spaeny is perfect as Priscilla, as she captures the loss of innocence and youthful hope of romantic love flawlessly. “I couldn’t imagine anyone else for this role,” said fellow viewer Peter Meloni. Jacob Elordi is spookily similar to Elvis, so much so that sometimes you even think you’re looking at him. Comparing his performance to Austin Butler in Elvis (2022) Mellissa Meloni, who is a big fan of Presley said “I think Elordi delivers layers that make it a stronger portrayal than what we’ve seen in 2022.”

Sofia Coppola makes it obvious how bad of a man Elvis was, showing how he continuously cheated and manipulated Priscilla, drowning her with drugs to make her stay. She quite frankly never became one with her right mind. Mrs. Meloni said, “Coppola could have balanced out the good and the bad of him but she only highlighted the bad parts of him so it was a bit depressing to watch.” 

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Even though Priscilla sees the flawed man beneath Elvis’ iconic image, she can either be loved by him and all he is, or she can walk out the door. “Comparing Marie Antoinette’s and Priscilla’s biopic, both of them show how they were manipulated and thrust into the spotlight at the young age of 14 and weren’t able to fit in with girls of the same age due to living very different lives,” said a fellow viewer  Carol Alburquerque. Unlike Marie Antoinette, Priscilla loved Elvis, but he was always going off somewhere, turning Priscilla into a prisoner of the house he barely lives in; she can’t run away since there’s nothing to go back to after being with Elvis.

Throughout the film’s duration, we see Priscilla take somewhat of an ownership of herself and her own life. She begins to defend herself and what she likes, questioning him about other women, but never attacking. God forbid Priscilla throws a tantrum, but her delicate candor makes you want to thrust forward and protect her from any and all harm. 

The second half of the film meanders slightly, as if it was building towards a climax only for it to never have its moment and then end abruptly. Priscilla gets in the car, takes a deep breath, and drives straight out of Graceland, accompanied by Dolly Parton’s song ‘I Will Always Love You’.Which feels like it was Coppola’s intention. 

“Regardless, the honesty and vulnerability embedded into the movie’s DNA is why the film succeeds–especially in a time like ours where complacency still runs rampant,” said Mrs. Alburquerque.

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    Adelaide KotaNov 27, 2023 at 11:07 am

    This is such an interesting review! I loved how you described the movie as a whole; it was very enticing. I wasn’t even interested in “Priscilla” before, but I certainly am now! Amazing article!