A rock star in love who rescues you from your mundane teenage life is a fantasy so powerful and enduring that popular fanfiction on Harry Styles was readily adapted into a series of successful films (i The After, which I do not advise you to watch). It is a ridiculous and naive dream, perhaps never realized in the real world. But there is a but, why Priscilla Presley she was only 14 when she was welcomed into the inner circle of Elvis Presley and soon became the chief object of his affection, and eventually his wife. As often happens, the true story was much more complex than the adolescent imagination allows, a fact that the director Sophia Coppola tries to illustrate in his Priscillawhich premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
Based on Priscilla Presley’s memoir and compiled with her advice, Priscilla presents Coppola with a difficult task: to honor the memories of a woman and at the same time shed lucid and frank light on rather alarming circumstances. It’s a challenge that the director faces with precision insight; Indeed, Priscilla it is neither sensationalist nor sugarcoated. Is one sensitive lookalbeit light, about a young woman who awakens from a dream and confronts life with open eyes.
Priscilla is played by Cailee Spaeny, who is 25 but believably plays a teenage high school girl. Suffocated by loneliness in West Germany, where her father, an army officer, is stationed, she lives away the welcoming trappings of mid-century American adolescence. But next to her is Elvis who, enlisted as a soldier, lives in a house not far from the military base. The meeting between Priscilla and Elvis, dashed quickly in the film Elvis (2021) by Baz Luhrmannfind a detailed description in Priscilla, which in addition to the young girl’s innocent ardor also registers a creeping sense of predation. (Presley, 24, had a friend bring Priscilla to him).
Elvis grows fond of Priscilla showing his sensitive side, telling her of his homesickness and his grief for his missing mother. Is this an act of solicitation? On this Priscilla he does not pronounce himself, preferring instead to calmly show the events as they happened (or a version of them) and leaving the public free to make their own assessments. As Elvis, Jacob Elordi – known as tormented stem in Euphoria of HBO – carefully calibrates Elvis’ charm, his drug-ridden commanding presence, his exacting demands, and his frightening outbursts of rage. (And also his misogyny). It is a more illuminating vision of man than that seen in Elvisa work more interested in iconographic elements than in interiority.
Priscilla it’s not a biopic about an artist and therefore we hardly ever see Elvis on stage. The film stays close to young Priscilla, portraying her own isolation as she takes her first steps into her new life as a woman (before, a teenager) kept a graceland, eagerly waiting for Elvis to return from a tour or film shoot and wrap her once again in the warmth of his attentions. Perhaps this is an eloquent picture of the life of too many women of that, as of other eras. One passed from a father to a husband, forever negotiating one’s place in the realm of men.
Spaeny outlines the struggle continues of Priscilla for independencehis tormented (because he still believes it) disillusionment from true love. She and Coppola choose the immobility and the calm rather than glitz, composing a portrait in delicate tones. The aesthetics by Coppola is immaculate but not affected, there are no glaring concessions to the curious customs of the time. Even the evolution of Elvis’ style from clean-cut crooner to offbeat tracksuit wearer is presented simply, without winks or affectation.
Priscilla it’s a delicate moviebut it is neither stagnant nor cold. Judicious musical choices touchingly punctuate the moments of ache And loss of Priscilla, whose childhood quickly fades as the truth of things begins to reveal itself. This is perhaps Coppola’s simplest film, sober And checked. But it is still one of his most representative and convincing creations, another of his studies on the young women looking for stability as they move through the world.
If we want to find fault with it, it is perhaps in some sort of passivity of the film, the feeling that Priscilla is drifting on currents driven (slowed and sped up) by another person’s whims. It is true, however, that sometimes youthful love, or what it was, can look just like this: lost in the wake of devotion, canceled by itself. In Priscilla’s case, that self was just formed when Elvis calls (or has her call) her. This is one of the big ones sadness of the film, the persistent and unanswered question about who Priscilla, brilliant and respectable, could have become if her identity had not been absorbed by her famous and cumbersome husband.
But that’s the course of history and Priscilla makes it better. Certainly there will be criticism from those who think that Coppola should have insisted more on the limits and fallacies of the report. Maybe the reason is on their side. However, Priscilla Presley’s involvement in the film may be the only real answer to that objection. Here, net of all possible prejudices and omissions, which she herself recalls, Coppola’s mastery allowed her to confer grace And meaning to his biographical work. Priscilla it is not an emotional epicnor a furious correction of the facts. Instead it is one convincing and human sketch of a young woman involved in something great that marked an era and those to come.
Source: Vanity Fair
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