KSL Movie Show review: ‘Priscilla’ isn’t pretty, but it rings true

Nov 6, 2023, 11:34 AM | Updated: 1:53 pm

The KSL Movie Show review gives "Priscilla" a B grade for its truth despite being ugly....

"Priscilla" shares the complex truth of an ugly situation.

SALT LAKE CITY — I love Elvis Presley. Or perhaps, I wasn’t given the chance to do otherwise as a young man. My mom’s family migrated from Tennessee to California after World War II, bringing their love for Elvis with them. My mom’s favorite sister and my favorite aunt, Aunt Deane, was a huge Elvis fan, went to see him live on multiple occasions and made her nieces and nephews listen to “The King” nearly every weekend growing up. 

August 16, 1977, was a very difficult day. I was a new teller at a Wells Fargo branch in Turlock, Calif., mostly women-run. In mid-afternoon on that Tuesday, a handful of the ladies came running, crying out of the break room with the news — Elvis Presley was dead. They were so inconsolable, that we nearly had to close the bank doors for the day. True story. 

So why am I telling you all this?

Because I was apprehensive about this biographical drama “Priscilla“.

Never miss a review from the KSL Movie Show

I was afraid the story would be a one-sided slam of my cultural hero and I was all prepared to either brush it off or accept it and try to separate the man from the music. 

What I got instead, was a sincere attempt [I thought] to tell Priscilla’s story from her perspective, but also with a conflicted sense of loyalty to “the love of her life.” I think she and director Sofia Coppola accomplished that — mostly.

Picking Cailee Spaeny to play Priscilla was an excellent choice. She had to have the range of someone from 14 to 27 years of age, with all the accompanying innocence to eventual heartache. Jacob Elordi, on the other hand, had the charisma and charm of Elvis but was so blasted tall at 6-foot-5 while Elvis was just a hair over 6 feet, that it drove me nuts. I know that sounds trivial, but Cailee was 5-foot-1, and real Priscilla was 5-foot-4, so the difference was even more pronounced.  To me, it would be like Dwayne Johnson as the lead in the “Kevin Hart Story”.

I simply couldn’t get past it, but that’s on me.

That aside, yes, Elvis did meet Priscilla in Germany when she was 14 and he was 24. 

However, this is where it doesn’t go well for Presley. He was sleeping with other women, while keeping Priscilla on the shelf, like a precious little China doll. No one disputes that, except Elvis at the time, who lied through his pretty, white teeth every time Priscilla confronted him about his numerous tabloid-fueled affairs. Not cool.

So what you have here is a unique, troubled relationship between a self-centered superstar and a sweet, but manipulated young woman who was forced to grow up in a star-studded petri dish called Graceland. 

KSL Movie Show on “Priscilla”

“Priscilla” is not a pretty picture by any means, but it’s one that painfully rings true.  And I’m just going to have to live with that. 

PRISCILLA is rated R for drug use and some language. Wide release in theaters. Starring Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi. Co-written and directed by Sofia Coppola (“Lost in Translation” “Marie Antoinette”) — filmed in Toronto. 113 minutes. 

The KSL Movie Show with Andy Farnsworth and Steve Salles airs Fridays on KSL NewsRadio from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Follow the show on Facebook, and join The KSL Movie Show Club for exclusive perks by texting MOVIE to 57500.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

KSL Movie Show

leo movie review...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: “Leo” is brilliant

"Leo" is a movie that delivers a surprisingly heartwarming and funny story that'll bring tears to your eyes -- both from sweet moments and hilarious jokes.

6 days ago


Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: “Next Goal Wins” is a heartfelt and true story

"Next Goal Wins" has a familiar feel, a bit like "Bad News Bears" right down to the crotchety coach (except it's a true story!)

12 days ago

steve salles pictured next to The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes poster, which gets...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes’ feels rushed

This KSL Movie Show review says "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes" makes one big mistake.

13 days ago


Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘The Marvels’ wasn’t worth my time

The KSL Movie Show's review of "The Marvels": You may want to spend your time, and money, elsewhere even though this Marvel movie is short.

19 days ago

The KSL Movie Show reviews"The Holdovers" and says it might be one of your favorite movies....

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘The Holdovers’ is your new seasonal anthem

"The Holdovers" could easily become the next film you watch every holiday season with your family.

22 days ago


Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Pain Hustlers’ on Netflix

“Pain Hustlers” sort of runs parallel to “The Wolf of Wall Street” - both movies featuring excesses in power, wealth, and debauchery. 

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Priscilla’ isn’t pretty, but it rings true