Monday, September 04, 2023

September 04 - Priscilla Movie Premiered in Venice

Sofia Coppola's movie 'Priscilla' debuted at the Venice Film Festival where the film received a seven-minute ovation from the audience. 

Coppola's movie is nominated for a Golden Lion in the 'Best Film' category. Cailee Spaeny was nominated for the Volpi Cup for 'Best Actress'.

'Priscilla' is based on Priscilla Presley’s own autobiography, 'Elvis and Me', which Coppola adapted herself. The film centers on Priscilla’s life and her love affair with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, following her from her early years as a teenage army brat stationed in West Germany to her arrival at Graceland.

The release of 'Priscilla' acts as a kind of counterbalance to last year’s 'ELVIS' which told the story of Elvis Presley from the singer’s point of view according to Variety. The Warner Bros. release was a box office hit, grossing US$288 million worldwide and earning eight Oscar nominations, including best picture and best actor for Austin Butler.

'Priscilla' is set to open in movie theaters October 27 from A24. It will also serve as the centerpiece screening of the New York Film Festival in October.

Variety wrote: "To borrow a lyric from her famous husband’s hit song, Priscilla Presley was all shook up at the Venice Film Festival premiere of 'Priscilla'. The subject of Sofia Coppola’s drama wiped away tears from her face on Monday night in Italy as the audience on the Lido exploded in a 7-minute standing ovation for the A24 indie film. Coppola and Presley attended the premiere alongside Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi, who star as Priscilla and Elvis. 

Presley was visibly moved by the film. As she dried her eyes, she hugged Spaeny. Coming off the heels of Baz Luhrmann’s 'ELVIS', which opened in theaters in 2022, Coppola cast Elordi as the King of Rock and Roll in a portrait that isn’t always so flattering. This Elvis is addicted to sleeping pills, loses his temper and tries to control what his girlfriend wears as he cheats on her."

Elvis Presley Enterprises and the Authentic Brands Group had no involvement in this film which doesn't feature any music by Presley. 

At a press conference for the film Monday, Priscilla, 78, called Elvis "the love of my life" even as she discussed her decision to divorce the icon in 1972.

It’s very difficult to sit and watch a film about you and about your life and about your love," she told reporters. "I think Sofia did an amazing job, she did her homework. We spoke a couple of times and I really put everything out for her that I could.” 

Coppola, 52, said she could put herself in Priscilla's shoes when it came to meeting Elvis as a teenager. "I can go back to being that age and remember having a crush on an older guy and a rockstar,” she told reporters. “I just imagined myself in her point of view”.

During the conference, Presley was asked what it was like to be in love with Elvis as a teenager. She took the opportunity to address a decades-long controversy surrounding her romance with Elvis - namely, the fact that she was only 14 years old when they started dating. Elvis, on the other hand, was 24 years old at the time. They famously met at a party in Germany held by Elvis while he was serving in the army. Priscilla’s stepfather was also stationed in Germany for the Air Force at the time, which is how the two ended up at the same party.

It was very difficult for my parents to understand that Elvis would be so interested in me and why,” she said. “And I really do think it was because I was more of a listener. Elvis would pour his heart out to me in every way in Germany. His fears, his hopes, the loss of his mother, which he never, ever got over. And I was the person who really, really sat there to listen and to comfort him…Even though I was 14, I was actually a little bit older in life. Not in numbers. That was the attraction.”

As for what level of intimacy they engaged in when she was a teenager, Presley was adamant about one crucial point: They never had sex until she was 18, when they were married.

On the >>> Meta Critics website you can read the reviews.

(Venice Film Festival / Variety / People)