Genre: Biography, Drama
Duration: 1h 40min
Director: Pablo Larraín
Writers: Noah Oppenheim
Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup
So I finally watched Jackie (2016) the other day! It premiered last year in December, but since none of the theaters near me played it, I had to wait for it to arrive on iTunes. The movie is considered an absolute favorite at the Oscars 2017 at the Best Actress category.
Jackie (2016) is an overall intimate portrait of one of the most enigmatic, iconic and adored First Lady of our times, during the most historic moment of the Kennedy era. It tells the story of First Lady of the United States of America, Jacqueline Kennedy (Natalie Portman), following the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy. The main theme is how she defines her husband’s legacy after his death, how she fights through the grief and the trauma and how she regains her faith and consoles her children.
It’s a travel behind the scenes, if you will, to the historic moments right after JFK is assassinated in Dallas, up to immediately after the funeral, when a reporter (Billy Crudup) shows up at Jackie’s doorstep for an interview. He is looking for a glimpse into her life after being the First Lady. She is looking to shape the late president’s legacy. This interview provides the framework needed to start and develop the story.
I don’t know much about Jackie other than what I’ve seen in documentaries here and there, but I know enough to be fascinated by her. The fascinating thing about her in this movie is how she is able to control the narrative, the legacy, in the aftermath of her husband’s assassination. There is little time to work with, as things start happening very fast. Immediately after the tragic incident Lyndon Johnson (John Carroll Lynch) is sworn in as president, there’s a funeral to plan and a burial site to be chosen, and she needs to vacate the White House, all the while facing media scrutiny. At the same time, she has to wrestle with consoling her children, grieving for her husband in light of some complicated feelings about her marriage, as well as finding out who she is now that her husband is gone and her title is no more.
In the end, we find out how important the legacy is, the Camelot legacy, and how important it has always been where the Kennedys were involved. There are many aspects of the story you’re left to ponder, but in particular, you’re left wondering: what is truth and what is perception?
The acting was superb. Natalie Portman shines in Jackie’s shoes, her appearance is flawless and she nails her particularities, especially her distinctive accent. The scenes, in general, were perfectly shot, with gorgeous views of and inside the White House.
There were also some aspects of the movie that didn’t do much for me. The soundtrack was terrible. It seemed to not fit in the movie at all and made me think of the chases in Tom & Jerry. And although the scenes in the movie are absolutely gorgeous, there were some of them that were drawn out and weren’t bringing much to the story, to the point where I started to momentarily lose interest.
Overall, I enjoyed it, and you should definitely watch it if you like biopics or movies based on real life events and people.
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