Front Row at the Movies by Shirrel Rhoades


Last year, we had “Elvis,” the Baz Luhrmann movie that captured the essence of Elvis Presley, according to his ex-wife Priscilla.

Now, we have “Priscilla,” a new movie by Sofia Coppola, which tells the story from the viewpoint of The King’s ex. Priscilla Presley approves of it, too. She acted as an executive producer on the new film.

“Priscilla” revisits Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s love story. The film stars Cailee Spaeny (TV’s “Mare of Easttown”) as the eponymous protagonist. Jacob Elordi (TV’s “Euphoria”) takes on the secondary role as Elvis. Both are convincing.

Sofia Coppola (daughter of master filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola and Oscar-winner for “Lost in Translation”) based the movie on Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir, “Elvis and Me.”

Priscilla said she was “excited about the interpretation” of her book “by the masterful Sofia Coppola.”

“She has such an extraordinary perspective and I have always been such an admirer of her work,” added Priscilla, 78. “I’m certain this movie will take everyone on an emotional journey.”

Elvis’s estate had a different take, though. Estate officials say “Priscilla” was produced without the Estate’s knowledge or consent.

“It feels like a college movie. The set designs are just horrific, it’s not what Graceland looks like,” one official said.

Priscilla Presley said she had her doubts about Luhrmann pursuing the biopic, but when she watched the final product with a longtime friend of Elvis, they had nothing but praise for how it turned out. At the end we went, ‘Wow, this is Elvis.'”

This A24 production aims for the same. The film’s synopsis reads: “Through Priscilla’s eyes, Sofia Coppola tells the unseen side of a great American myth in Elvis and Priscilla’s long courtship and turbulent marriage, from a German army base to his dream-world estate at Graceland, in this deeply felt and ravishingly detailed portrait of love, fantasy, and fame.”

Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu Wagner met during his military service in Germany. They were married for six years, from 1967 to 1973.

After welcoming their only child, daughter Lisa Marie in 1968, Elvis and Priscilla called it quits in 1972 and finalized their divorce the following year. (Lisa Marie died in January at age 54.)

As Priscilla Presley said of the new biopic: “I love Sofia Coppola. I love her film work, and I think it’ll be fine … I hope!”

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