Movie Review: Jackie

Details: Released in 2016. Stars Natalie Portman. Over an hour and a half long.

This movie was hard to watch at first. I thought Natalie Portman’s performance was very fake and very bad. However, after a quick internet search and finding an interview with the actual Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, I realized that Natalie Portman is a great actress in this film. Jacqueline Kennedy is just a really odd woman who appears really fake. Portman simply portrayed that.

Jackie is a biopic on Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (wife of John F. Kennedy, former president of the United States) that takes place around the time of President Kennedy’s assassination. More specifically, it mostly deals with the aftermath of Kennedy’s assassination.

It’s a film that attempts to be heavy and emotional, and in a large part it succeeds. As a person who did not live through those times, I can only guess as to the impact a presidential assassination would have for a citizen of the United States. While watching the film, I tried to imagine the impact that this film would have had upon someone who actually lived through those events. Unfortunately, I am only capable of judging the film from my perspective alone.

I think the problem with this film, for me, is that Jacqueline Kennedy is incredibly odd. Portman imitates her well, but it’s hard to attach oneself to a person with such a deliberately performed public persona. It’s hard to get a grasp of her personality and the film dances around it rather than give you a person you can truly root for or against. That may have been the point of the film and how Jackie Kennedy truly was.

A large part of the film also deals with John F. Kennedy obviously and his politics. We see a little of Lyndon Johnson as well. Most of the film does stay on Jackie Kennedy.

Something I liked — which reminded me of what they did in Forrest Gump — was the use of old footage, edited together with what they shot. They also used old sound recordings as well. It all adds some authenticity to the film.

Overall, it was an interesting film, but I don’t know if I can say I enjoyed it. I have no preexisting fascination with Jacqueline Kennedy. After watching the film, I’m still not fascinated. Jackie Kennedy was an odd woman, but I’m not sure a film should have been made about her.

Score: 5.8/10

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