Brought to us by studio A24 of whom I have become a huge fan and written and directed by Sophia Coppola, Priscilla is a biographical drama about Priscilla Presley. I want to start by saying what a weird release this movie has had. It was released in the USA in October 2023, but the international distribution is a bit of a mess with many parts of the world not seeing this until early 2024!
How to Download Priscilla
Priscilla was released on October 27, 2023. You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice.
The Movie Review
I will admit that I judged Priscilla before I saw it, I wondered why on Earth someone would try making another Elvis movie after the masterpiece we got a little while back. It was a bad attitude to have and I am happy to say that I was wrong as Priscilla is a very different movie than Elvis was.
Exploring the Life of Priscilla Presley
As the title suggests, this is more about Priscilla and specifically the rollercoaster relationship that she had with Elvis. I actually learned a great deal about her from this movie and it made me dive deeper into this relationship. I know times were different back then, but man it is still shocking to see a fully grown Elivs chase after and end up with a 14-year-old girl!
In-Depth Character Analysis in Priscilla
We get the full story here of how she was infatuated with Elvis and how he brought her to America to finish high school so that she could be with him. Just writing that feels so wrong and it honestly makes me look at Elvis in a very different light. As I said, I know that times were different, but she was 14!
The Cinematic Portrayal of Elvis and Priscilla’s Relationship
The movie is about her dealing with the fame of Elvis and his descent into addiction. Elvis is not portrayed in the best light here and that is probably why his estate wanted nothing to do with this movie. I liked the relationship that Priscilla had with the staff at Graceland and Elvis’s grandmother, but the two of them together just felt so toxic and I guess that was the point, it was about her growing up and realizing she does not deserve this and deserves to be happy.
Standout Performances in Priscilla
I was blown away by the lead actress in this movie, I recognized her from Pacific Rim Uprising, but man has she turned into an incredible actress. Cailee Spaeny plays Priscilla and she is fantastic, she is so believable, so vulnerable, but she is also strong by the end of the movie too. She is a very likable character, so likable that she made me question Elvis Presley as a human being!
Musical Elements and Challenges in Priscilla
Now, the big thing we have to talk about here is Elvis. Austin Butler was phenomenal in that role and poor Jacob Elordi who plays him here was facing an uphill battle right from the start. To be fair, Jacob Elordi does a damn fine job of portraying what I feel is a rather unlikable version of Elvis. He does have great chemistry with Cailee Spaeny and overall, he does a great job, but you cannot help but compare him to Austin Butler.
One area that I do feel Priscilla is a bit of a letdown is the music. With the Elvis estate wanting nothing to do with this, they were not allowed to use any actual Elvis music in the movie. They work around it in some clever ways and even though Priscilla is the main character, you notice big time that there are no proper Elvis songs during the movie. From what I understand, the lack of approval from the Elvis estate was a sticking point for the distribution of this movie!
It is kind of unfair to compare Priscilla to 2022’s Elivs as they are very different movies, but with Elvis being one of the biggest entertainment icons of all time, it is impossible not to. I liked Priscilla way more than I thought I would, I could see some die-hard Elvis fans not liking the way The King is portrayed in this movie, but I can also see others loving how the movie shows a different side of such a complex and flawed man. One thing that is for certain, it does a great job of showing how strong a woman, Priscilla was!
- I can see this putting a rocket on the back of Cailee Spaeny
- Elvis and Priscilla have great chemistry in the movie
- I liked how it showed what a strong woman Priscilla was
- It tells a side of the Elvis story that is often glossed over
- The lack of Elvis’s music is very noticeable
- The whole thing with her being 14 at the start creeped me out