Jackie: Film Review

jackie

Natalie Portman has been receiving all the nominations and acclaim for her portrayal of former U.S. First Lady Jackie Kennedy in this biopic and it’s clear to see why.

The biopic is structured around an interview Jackie gives to Life magazine reporter Theodore H. White (Billy Crudup) in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts days after the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas in 1963. Through a series of flashbacks, we see moments of her conducting First Lady duties, the moment her husband was killed, and the days shortly after when she is making funeral arrangements and moving out of the White House.

Jackie Kennedy has been portrayed on screen many times but I have to give full disclosure – I have never seen any of them. I have never seen any films about JFK’s assassination from her perspective but I do know Portman sounded a lot like her. The accent takes a bit of getting used to cos it’s quite odd but she does it well.

We know Portman is a capable actress as she has the Oscar to prove it but I was still so impressed by her performance, especially immediately after the shooting when she’s wiping his blood off of her and processing what’s happened while everyone is already focused on the next President, Lyndon Johnson. Damn, that was good. She portrays the rollercoaster of emotions well.

There is also an excellent supporting cast which includes Peter Sarsgaard as Bobby Kennedy, Greta Gerwig as Nancy Tuckerman (love seeing her do something different!), John Hurt as Father Richard, Richard E. Grant as William Walton, and John Carroll Lynch as Johnson. The recreations of Jackie’s televised tour of the White House, the assassination and the funeral procession were incredible to watch.

The film isn’t told like a traditional biopic and it is structured in an odd way and it took me a while to get into it even though I was keen to learn about her story. It took until the aftermath of the assassination scene (I mentioned above) for me to be fully involved. I didn’t like the music, I found it distracting, and it overran its logical end point by about 2-3 scenes. I only recommend people see it for the performance of the cast, especially Portman.

In cinemas Friday 20th January

Comments

  1. I completely agree with you about seeing it solely for Portman’s performance; she carried that movie and is absolutely spectacular!

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