The memories of Priscilla Presley, the wife of the king of rock, in an intimate and painful film. Where scenography, costumes and lights narrate the feelings perfectly

God is in the details, said Mies Van Der Rohe. And Sofia Coppola also says it when in Priscilla she recounts the memories of Priscilla Presley, starting from the book that wife of the king of rock had published it in 1985 with the title Elvis and Me. A delicate, profound, silent story.

Baby I love you sung by the Ramones bursts into the first scenes of the film to lead visitors into the world of Elvis Presley seen through the eyes of Priscilla Beaulieu, the fourteen-year-old girl who will become his wife a few years later.

The song is perfect in that it is not synchronic with the era of the events narrated: recorded by the Ronettes in 1963 and taken up by the Ramones in 1980. But Sofia Coppola chose a suggestive and evocative soundtrack, capable of hooking the audience and transforming the film in a book of memories: memory is activated along mechanisms that are sometimes inscrutable, certainly personal. And it often has to do with fairy tales.

And here Tamara Deverell intervenes, already set designer for Guillermo del Toro, as well as a priestess of detail, minister of worship of divination from particular.

First of all because he knows how to make the words of fairy tales visible, then because he is able to perfectly recreate not only a historical era, but the exact atmosphere of a house (or perhaps it is more correct to say of a way of life) and of narrate a world.

The dichotomy experienced by a fourteen-year-old girl who suddenly finds herself courted by none other than Elvis Presley is the common thread of a scenography on a palette of grays and browns with which the life of the Beaulieu family in Germany is identified, in the American base of Wiesbaden, in contrast with the cream, warm and bright tones of Graceland in Memphis.

There was never Tamara Deverell in Elvis' house and it was a good thing, as she stated in several interviews, because it would have too much conditioned her gaze on a different period from that in which the events of the film of which in the current there is almost nothing left of the house.

So she rebuilt Graceland in Ontario, where the film was shot in just 30 days, in a meticulous work of careful precision. Deverell recreated the style of the time to perfection (one example above all: the rugs over the high, soft carpet, into which Priscilla's little feet sink), and then dealt with proportions.

He raised the ceilings compared to those of the real Graceland: Jacob Elordi - Elvis Presley is very tall, but above all this modification served to enhance the sense of smallness of Cailee Spaeny - Priscilla Beaulieu. She looks like a doll when she first arrives in that villa, especially when she moves between the light rooms, with the sumptuous curtains and that suspended light.

The director of photography Philippe Le Sourd chose it precisely to give visual substance to the amazement of a little girl, creating a nebulous light, as if it were a perpetual magic hour with dust particles wandering in the air .

Returning to the scenography, Deverell then raised the sofa, remade to measure and faithful to what was in the house at the time, but also designed to accentuate the contrast between Elvis and Priscilla ( which, sitting up there, does not touch the ground).

And then there is the bedroom, a dark, very masculine place, in blue, black and gold, regal colours, in which bizarre objects stand out, including a ceramic tiger ( which Priscilla will feel like caressing during an LSD trip).

She and Elvis experience this space quite a bit when they're together, but it's his place. Upon closer inspection, the whole house belongs to Elvis, who builds it tailor-made to measure, like his wife's look: black hair and more make-up on the eyes, he tells her, to highlight the blue.

No colorful patterns or brown clothes: they remind him of German sadness... And she, a young woman with a sensitive heart, full of love, wanders around an enchanted castle that ultimately will never belong to her.

Stacey Battat's costumes complete the work, also following the common thread of meticulous attention to detail, to tell the story of Priscilla's young age up to her adulthood, through models, colors and patterns to wear, together with the hairstyles and make-up that would become Mrs. Presley's distinctive trait, but also the emblem of the fashion and style of those years.

A job that should not be underestimated is that of graphics: magazines, concert posters, record covers have all been redesigned with the face of Jacob Elordi to avoid inconsistencies between the original Elvis (and portrait in the newspapers of the time) and the character of the film. It's so true, God is in the details.

And Sofia Coppola knows it well. If all of her films share this attention, in Priscilla it becomes essential to the narration of a singular female story, brought to the stage with great empathy.

The plot coincides with the life of Priscilla Beaulieu from when she meets Elvis to when she decides, having been a mother for a few years, to separate and abandon Graceland.

It will be the song I Will Always Love You by Dolly Parton that will accompany her out of the gates (philologically reconstructed like her first ones, with musical notes decorating them) and find her space, the one where she she will be able to exist as a woman. In between, everything happens, from attending the Catholic school where he will graduate to sparkling evenings with Elvis, from extreme loneliness in the house in Memphis to intimacy with the man he loves, from marriage to the birth of daughter, from total trust to betrayals, from fairy tales to reality.

All entrusted to a splendid Cailee Spaeny who plays the role of Priscilla with great skill at all ages. A new masterpiece by Coppola, a meticulous investigator of the human soul (and the female soul in particular).

In theaters from March 27th.