Ever since her 1999 debut The Virgin Suicides, writer-director Sofia Coppola has established herself as one of America’s leading independent filmmakers. Her perceptive studies of womanhood reign supreme in the public imagination — from the ennui-steeped Lost in Translation (2003) to her Golden Lion Winner Somewhere (2010). She returns now with Priscilla, an elegant biopic about Priscilla Presley, starring Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi.


Priscilla opens in theaters today.

SAFE, Todd Haynes, 1995

Todd Haynes — one of my favorite films by him. It’s incredible, I love the character and the way the story is told, the way it’s made.

GILDA, Charles Vidor, 1946

I’ve always loved that movie since I was a kid. I love her introduction and in my new film Priscilla wanted her to have a memorable entrance, and I always think back to Gilda for this — one of the best introductions ever.

MODEL, Frederick Wiseman, 1980

Fred Wiseman — I love his documentaries! I love that they take their time and are not story driven, you spend time in these other worlds. I also love The Store by him — set at Neiman Marcus in Dallas in the 80’s — and High School and Aspen.

A PLACE IN THE SUN, George Stevens, 1951

Another favorite, great characters and I love how it’s shot — how Montgomery Clift’s character is an outsider in this glamorous world.

MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO, Gus Van Sant, 1991

Watched again recently — great style and looks, beautiful and dreamy. Beatrix Pastor’s costumes really set the tone for that era, and it still looks great today.

WORKING GIRL, Mike Nichols, 1988

A fun romantic comedy, great hero and glamorous 80’s New York!