Priscilla first reviews: Sofia Coppola's film gets 7 min standing ovation at Venice Fest, glowing reviews
Priscilla Presley, who was also present at the premiere of the film with the director and the cast, was seen teary-eyed with the overwhelming reception.
Sofia Coppola's Priscilla premiered at the 80th Venice Film Festival on Monday to a warm response. If the first reviews are anything to go by, many are considering this her finest film since Lost in Translation. Based on the 1985 memoir Elvis and Me, written by Priscilla Presley and Sandra Harmon, Coppola's Priscilla was greeted with a rapturous 7 minute-long standing ovation after its premiere. The cast and Presley were seen holding back tears, overcome with emotion. (Also read: Roman Polanski's The Palace debuts with a dismal 0% Rotten Tomatoes score after premiere at Venice Film Festival)
Sofia Coppola's film stars Cailee Spaeny as the teenage Priscilla Beaulieu and chronicles her whirlwind relationship with Elvis (played by Jacob Elordi), whom she met as a 14-year-old. Both the stars and the director were present at the premiere, along with Priscilla herself. At the film’s press conference, Priscilla said, "It’s very difficult to watch a film about you and about your life and about your love. But Sofia did an amazing job. She did her homework, and I really put everything out for her that I could.”
Meanwhile, after a combined score based on 22 reviews, the film stands at a handsome 95% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The review for Time hailed the film, and wrote, "Priscilla invites us to walk side-by-side with her, but not so we can ultimately be punished by the fallacy of her dream; rather, this is a story about deep, cavernlike loneliness, and how one person’s responding to the loneliness of another can be both an adventure and a destiny." The review for The Daily Beast said, "Coppola displays perhaps more tenderness than ever before, making for a film which, for all its slightness and occasional missteps, is affectingly clear-eyed and candid." Rolling Stone also gave a glowing review of the film and said, "People may fault Coppola for dipping her toe in familiar terrain, but it’s hard to argue with the result: a transportive, heartbreaking journey into the dark heart of celebrity, and her finest film since Lost in Translation."
Praise was also shared by the performances by its two lead actors. The review for The Film Verdict said, "Spaeny captivates throughout — Priscilla learns when to remain silent, and Spaeny’s eyes convey volumes within those silences — and she’s matched by Elordi, who captures the magnetism and the occasional monstrousness of the superstar without caricature." The BBC review opined, "As the years slip by, and the excellent Brie Larson-alike Spaeny grows convincingly from lovesick schoolgirl to strong wife and mother, the film becomes a haunting dark fairy tale about a beautiful princess trapped in a castle by a controlling king, but, again, Coppola is more understated than that might suggest." "An impeccable union of director and subject," said the review for The Hollywood Reporter.
Priscilla is set to release in US theatres in October 27.