Elvis Presley was an asshole. I kept coming back to this thought over and over again as I was watching this movie last night. The only questions were in what way was he an asshole and just how much of an asshole. And yes, we can speculate about the why. It’s safe to say that I’m not “The King’s” greatest fan. Although I did respect him for leading a true rock and roll lifestyle. Priscilla is an intimate, gripping, and sobering look at the relationship between young Priscilla Beaulieu and Elvis, the most popular singer on the planet at that time. It’s based on Priscilla’s memoir Elvis and Me from 1985 and directed by Sofia Coppola.
I guess Bill Murray was a bit too old to play Elvis so they had to get Jacob Elordi. The story starts just a couple of days before she meets him and ends just a couple of days after she leaves him. The pacing is steady and firm while the storytelling focuses on the objective side of things. It shows us just how her life was once she met Elvis. Priscilla can be best described as a moody and yet also fascinating movie, a drama without melodrama. These types of movies are becoming quite popular. I think that the last one I saw was the South Korean romantic drama Past Lives.
The other thought that kept going through my mind as I was watching this movie was: this is so Lana del Rey. I don’t know if it’s the mood or the aesthetic but something was just screaming her name at me constantly. Okay, not screaming, more melancholically thinking about it and hoping I would get it while smoking cigarettes and looking pretty. With all of this being said, and if you’re still with me, I would like to further elaborate on my initial claim. And that claim is that Elvis is an asshole. I present to you the only proof you’ll ever need and that’s the fact that Elvis met and “fell in love” with Priscilla when she was just 14 years old.
I will say that again, she was a shy 14-year-old girl and he was a 24-year-old rock icon. We’ll see if I’m able to contain myself from ranting about this further. For now, I would like to commend our two leads. Jacob Elordi is the hot new guy on the block and he seems to be in every other movie. Much like almost all of his co-stars from the phenomenal television show Euphoria. Cailee Spaeny, whom you might remember from Devs, another solid TV show, plays Priscilla. Her performance here is nothing short of stellar. I want you to pay attention to her smile and facial expressions and how they relate not just to the atmosphere of the movie but also to the story.
The supporting cast is quite limited as the focus is squarely on their relationship. As someone who doesn’t have strong feelings toward Elvis in one way or another, I truly enjoyed this movie. To me, Priscilla was a character study and an aesthetically pleasing period movie. It shines a light on several subjects and all of them are quite controversial. I know that people will say that this is a one-sided affair but I would again mention the fact that she was 14 fucking years old! Okay, okay, it’s quite obvious that I have to tell you what I think about this whole thing. So, buckle up, and here we go.
First of all, what kind of fucking pathetic excuses are those? I’m so lonely, I need someone to talk to. Well, you have a whole army base of people who would love to talk to you. Why don’t you talk to her parents, they surely know more about the world, and feelings and can actually help you get through this “difficult” part of your life. You fucking piece of shit. I mean, I’m not even writing these words, they’re just coming out on their own. To me, it’s quite obvious what was going on. Elvis could have any woman he wanted and he did have them. However, after the loss of his mother, he needs a saintly wife to wait for him at home.
I’m not a psychologist, but there could be some mommy issues here. Especially since he didn’t appear to be too intimate with her. In the end, Elvis groomed an innocent 14-year-old girl to be his toy, to be his possession. While I do believe that someone can fall in love I also believe that behind that act is something that can be explained and traced, at least to some degree. I guess we should all applaud the fact that he waited for four years until she turned what, 17 or 18, to have sex with her. And while all of that is a traumatic experience, I must end on a positive note and that positive note is Priscilla herself.
You fucking go girl! Priscilla refused to be a victim in this relationship, trying to figure out what’s love and life and how the two go together. Remember, this was her first boyfriend and she did not have the luxury of dating other people. She eventually blossomed into a smart, confident, and beautiful young woman who knows what she wants. I do believe she loved Elvis with all her heart but sometimes you can see and feel that a relationship is toxic and that you need to get out. No matter how good of a time you’re having.
Director: Sofia Coppola
Writers: Priscilla Presley, Sandra Harmon, Sofia Coppola
Cast: Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi, Ari Cohen, Dagmara Dominczyk, Tim Post, Lynne Griffin
Fun Facts: Elvis Presley Enterprises did not allow Sofia Coppola to use any of the Elvis Presley’s songs in the movie Priscilla. They absolutely didn’t like the movie same as his daughter Lisa Marie.