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

Nov 6, 2023, 11:34 AM | Updated: Jan 4, 2024, 3:27 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.

More movie reviews:

We want to hear from you.

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

KSL Movie Show

the bikeriders movie poster next to ksl movie show host steve salles...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘The Bikeriders’ didn’t blow me away

In this KSL Movie Show review, we dive into "The Bikeriders," a film based on a photo book by Danny Lyon.

22 hours ago

tuesday movie poster next to ksl movie show host steve salles...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Tuesday’ is a movie you need to experience for yourself

In this KSL Movie Show review, we explore "Tuesday," which personifies death as a talking macaw.

8 days ago

ksl movie show host steve salles stands next to inside out 2 movie poster...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Inside Out 2’ is almost as good as the original

Is the long-anticipated movie "Inside Out 2" as good as the original? KSL Movie Show host Steve Salles says no, but it’s pretty darn close!

8 days ago

ksl movie show host steve salles next to poster for bad boys ride or die...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” is a surprisingly engaging action adventure

In this KSL Movie Show review, dive into "Bad Boys: Ride or Die," which follows two partners willing to go to the ends of the earth to make things right.

15 days ago

In "The Watchers," a 28-year-old artist gets stranded in a forestexpansive, untouched forest in Wes...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Review: ‘The Watchers’ is a decent debut from a famed director’s daughter

Yes, we’re talking about surprise-ending director M. Night Shyamalan and now his protégé daughter Ishana Shyamalan who has made her first horror film with producer daddy watching over her shoulder. 

15 days ago

ksl movie show host steve salles next to ezra movie poster...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Review: ‘Ezra’ is delightful and a bit far-fetched

"Ezra's" younger star pulls the film together with a "delightfully genuine" performance.

22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

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