Sofia Coppola has forged her career through depictions of the lifestyles of the rich and the famous. From alienated movie stars and the young women in their orbit in Lost in Translation and Somewhere, to sideways looks into the lives of real-life teenagers caught up in the world of celebrity in The Bling Ring and Marie Antoinette, the director’s movies are often set at the intersection of opulence and ennui. Having grown up inside of one of Hollywood’s most famous clans, Coppola uses her insider perspective showcase the pitfalls of life adjacent to money and fame, whilst acknowledging the pleasures that make it so seductive.
It was no surprise then, to see the director choose to adapt Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir Elvis and Me for her new film. Taking Priscilla’s (played by Cailee Spaeny) perspective, we see the 14-year-old meet Elvis Presley (Jacob Elordi) — a rock and roll superstar some ten years her senior — at a party, and follow their long courtship and turbulent marriage. The film takes us from a German army base, to the suffocating luxury of his estate at Graceland, to the blinding lights of Vegas.
In 2022 Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis gave us the all-singing, all-dancing, fully-licenced version of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. By contrast, Coppola’s film was refused permission to use any of Elvis’s music, leaving the filmmakers to work intimately with Priscilla herself in order to maintain a sense of authenticity. The resulting work has been praised for its detail, period textures and restrained intimacy as Coppola sketches a portrait of a young woman grappling with the isolating effects of a life immediately adjacent to a superstar.
Select screenings of Priscilla at HOME will be presented in 35mm.