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An excruciatingly tedious biopic, completely devoid of drama, that reveals next to nothing about its subject, Priscilla could have done with a little less conversation and a little more action.

Sofia Coppola has always been a filmmaker that has been hit and miss with me, and her new film Priscilla falls squarely in the miss category.

Hot on the heels of Baz Luhrmann's successful Elvis biopic, you'd think that a movie centred around his wife would make for an interesting companion piece, but Priscilla more resembles a collection of disparate, tedious home movies than an actual film.

The movie's main problem is that Coppola never seems interested in unraveling the nature of Priscilla's attraction to Elvis or vice versa. Consistently and repetitively meandeirng between tender scenes and sudden bursts of psychological and sometimes fysical violence, the picture favours atmosphere and incident over drama, with disastrous results.

While Jacob Elordi makes for a decent - if woefully underdeveloped - King of Rock 'n Roll, rising star Cailee Spaeny is as blank a canvas as I've seen for many a year as the lead subject of a biographical film. Nothing in her uninspired, passive performance comes close to drawing interest from the viewer.

Add the fact that not even Elvis' music is used anywhere throughout the film (supposedly at the behest of Priscilla Presley herself) and I somehow found myself longing for Baz Luhrmann's bombastic eysore from 2022, which says a lot about how much I hated Priscilla.

release: 2023

director: Sofia Coppola

starring: Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi, Tim Post, Ari Cohen


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