Saturday, December 17, 2016
Movie Review: Jackie
I didn't know much about JFK, aside from his assassination, and I knew even less about his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, so I was curious to see Jackie, which chronicles her life in the days and weeks after the assassination. Although Natalie Portman is great in the part, the movie overall is very slow, and a bit hard to watch.
Jackie Kennedy (Portman) has decided to talk with reporters, a week after her husband's death, and she is giving a sit-down interview to a journalist (Billy Crudup) at her home. The past week has involved her and her children moving out of the White House, as well as planning her husband's funeral, and they have a lot to talk about. The film switches from past to present, as we also get to witness Jackie giving a tour of the White House - something unprecedented - to a TV crew, prior to her husband's death, and we see events leading up to the Texas trip where he was killed.
The tour of the White House was a real thing, and you can watch it on YouTube - I watched a little of it today and the way Jackie talks, with a bit of an affectation, is how Natalie Portman tried to talk while playing her character. The outfit is very similar to what Portman wore in those scenes as well. Portman was great in the role of Jackie - and has been getting award nominations for it, including Critics Choice (she didn't win, though), Golden Globes, and the SAG Awards. If you take a look at the nominations for the movie, though, you'll notice that it's not nominated for Best Picture for any of these, and that's because the movie itself is just okay; it's Portman in the role that stands out here.
Maybe see this movie. I rarely give a 3.5 star rating and a "maybe" to a movie, but this is more of a 3-star movie; it's Portman's performance that elevates it to a 3.5. I did learn a bit more about Jackie and her life in the White House and with her husband and children—and the film does show the moment of JFK's assassination, albeit in a quick scene, which might be why this is rated R—but overall it was very slow, and much darker than I would have thought. The music throughout actually reminded me of music from The Shining, for some reason. Jackie is a film that should probably be seen, at some point, but can definitely be saved for a matinee showing or for a Blu-ray/DVD rental.
Jackie is currently playing in theaters, and is rated R with a runtime of 100 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.