3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Finally, a biopic that is faithful to the source material!

I have two typical reservations with biopics. Firstly ones that are inaccurate without stating as much; and secondly using actors who do not closely resemble their counterparts. Priscilla passes the accuracy factor with flying colours. The second criteria? Not quite…

The film is based on Priscilla Presley’s book Elvis and Me, which documents her life experience from the time she met the superstar up until they parted ways. Even though it was released almost 40 years ago, much of the happenings behind closed doors are not well-known and will likely come as a surprise to those who haven’t read it.

Although Cailee Spaeny gives a solid performance as Priscilla, especially her seamless transformation from the ages of 14 up till 27, it’s hard to get past the fact that she really does not look like her at all. Jacob Elordi is believable as Elvis from certain angles and with the right lighting, but front on? Nope. Luckily this doesn’t make the film a disaster by any means, but some mental gymnastics are involved to get yourself used to the idea that this is meant to be them. At least finding a more convincing lookalike for Priscilla would have made for a far more immersive experience.

In true Sofia Coppola eye-candy style, much care and attention has been taken to the props and sets to transport you back to the era. One of the scenes is so beautifully shot, it’s almost like art.

The story plods along at a steady pace, while the ending is both poignant and satisfying. It manages to get by without using Elvis’s music either, which is quite a feat considering the subject matter.

To be precise, I rate this 3.7/5 but it has been rounded down to 3.5.

Priscilla premieres in Sweden on 1 December.

Photographs © 2023 Sabrina Lantos / The Apartment S.r.l. All Rights Reserved.


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