Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Natalie Portman as Jackie
JACKIE (2016). Director: Pablo Larrain.

Jacqueline Kennedy was the most famous, admired, and influential woman in the world, and that all ended in one shocking moment in Dallas in 1963. Whatever the flaws of JFK and the First Lady, neither of them deserved such a terrible fate, and I think the president's widow never fully got over what happened that day -- the suddenness, the gruesomeness, the shock and horror of it all. Jackie presents JFK's widow in all her complexities and mixed emotions as she struggles to get by in the hours and days after her husband's assassination. Natalie Portman [Black Swan] gives an excellent performance as Jackie, and there is good work from Peter Sarsgaard [The Dying Gaul] as Bobby Kennedy, Greta Gerwig [The Humbling] as Jackie's aide, Nancy; John Hurt as a priest; and Billy Crudup as a reporter who comes to interview Jackie some time after the tragedy (the main story is told in flashback). There is first-class photography from Stephane Fontaine, and a deeply poignant score by Mica Levi (some could argue that the music does most of the work). This may not be the last word on the final days of Camelot, nor on Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, but it is a moving and absorbing picture. Portman and Levi both received Oscar nominations.

Verdict: An American tragedy. ***.


angelman66 said...

I liked this movie and thought it well done if a bit slow paced. Portman was very good in the title role. True, this is only one small slice of a legendary life. Reminded me in a way of Thirteen Days which dramatized the Cuban missile crisis so succinctly with great writing and characters--I like that one better than this one, though it is definitely historically accurate. But I will probably watch it again.

Another great week, Bill, thanks as always for being so prolific, and Happy 4th of July!
- Chris

William said...

Happy 4th of July to you, too Chris! Now I'm going to look for "Thirteen Days."