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  • I'm surprised to see so many bad reviews of this film on IMDb. I would be interested to know how many of them came from people who are too young to remember the Kennedy assassination or much about Mrs. Kennedy.

    Okay, several people were angry that John-John in the movie didn't salute the casket.

    One review referred to the story as "horrible and morbid." Guess what - it is.

    One review said Jackie was a "housewife." I won't dignify that with a response.

    Natalie Portman was criticized for doing a "cringe-worthy" imitation. Her voice and accent were found hilarious.

    And it was called "boring" over and over again.

    I understand that to each his own, and I respect that. I'm just surprised.

    I first of all did not find this film at all boring. I found it emotional, compelling, and interesting - and despite what someone said here, I did find out things I never knew.

    I thought Natalie Portman did a brilliant job and, while the role didn't offer as much as Viola Davis' did in Fences, I would not have been upset to see her win another Oscar. There was nothing wrong with her accent, that's how Mrs. Kennedy talked. If you don't believe me, go to youtube and listen to the tapes.

    The film focused on Jackie after the assassination, but it was shown, as were earlier times, such as her televised tour of the White House. I thought the film mixed with the actual footage was excellent.

    The clothes were perfection. Like others, I did not care for the music and what I really did not care for was the music at the end.

    The rest of the cast did an admirable job - John Hurt, Greta Gerwig, and Billy Crudup. I was disappointed in Peter Sarsgaard, but I think he was trying to convey Bobby's shock and grief. He's a good actor normally but not very successful here.

    I found this a poignant film and a stunning portrait of Jackie Kennedy and what she suffered as a result of the assassination.
  • I mostly fell for this exploration of grief, grace and mythmaking. Even when it was a bit too on the nose (the faults mostly lie in the wraparound story). It's concerned with how someone copes in the spotlight, how someone can make a legacy from the idea of a thing, how a person is more important than their legend but also how their legend shapes how that person is forever perceived.

    It's telling in the universe of the film that Jackie herself is first obsessed with redesigning the White House in what is ostensibly a superficial act of decorating, but then is revealed to be, in reality, attempting to reflect more than the legends of past presidents but also the men who shaped them. A reminder that all legends start with a simple human being doing things only a person can do. A grandiloquent gesture of political humanity for a house full of ghosts.

    There's a lot else to like here. Natalie Portman's performance does indeed capture Jackie Kennedy's persona, but also the legend of her and the real woman behind it all. Watching the real White House tour video on YouTube showed me how accurate Portman's breathy accent and meticulous demeanor really were. Beautifully composed, with notes of elegance and grotesqueness in equal measure. And a wonderful, tragic, near other-worldly score by Mica Levi.
  • If you ever doubted the credibility of Natalie Portman as a performer, watch 'Jackie' right away & dump your thoughts away. In this stunning biopic, where Portman flexes her acting muscles as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, proves to be a testament of her incredible talent. Its a film driven by a lead performance, that is anchored by sheer power.

    'Jackie' Synopsis: Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband's historic legacy.

    Director Pablo Larraín brings a disturbing true-story on celluloid, that covers theme of love, loss & power. We watch Jackie struggle with the surroundings around her, following the assassination of her President Husband. And I must tell you, the journey has been told with gut-wrenching bleakness. The narrative is no-holds-barred & what we see throughout the film, is a women in deep pain.

    Noah Oppenheim's Screenplay is top-notch. Its arresting as well as its disturbing. Pablo Larraín's Direction is fantastic. He has handled this biographical-drama with precision. Cinematography is brilliant. Editing is razor-crisp, keeping the narrative tight in its 99-minutes running-time. Art & Costume Design are perfect. Mica Levi's Score is super.

    Performance-Wise: As mentioned right from my summary, Portman is Mesmerizing. Its a tour-de-force performance, that ranks amongst the best of 2016. Of the supporting cast, Peter Sarsgaard as Robert F. Kennedy & Greta Gerwig as Nancy Tuckerman, are first-rate, yet again. And John Hurt as Father Richard McSorley, is remarkable in a cameo. Others lend good support.

    On the whole, 'Jackie' is definitely a must see. It finds one of the most talented actresses of our times, at her finest hour. Go watch!
  • shola-3581821 January 2017
    As the film is titled 'Jackie' you expect to learn more about her through the film, it should have been called 'JFK's widow one week following his assassination'. This is a woman who was powerful and had a background, a life, buried two babies. All we get from this film is a portrayal of a grieving, often selfish and self absorbed woman who smokes and drinks too much. Who wouldn't fall to that after something as traumatic? The film is flat and bland, it gives us no indication of the type of woman she was, her role in white house (aside from her expensive renovations and insistence on a huge funeral for her husband) We see nothing of her personal achievements. Natalie Portman and the excellent cast's acting skills are the only interesting thing to watch. Disappointing and does 'Jackie O' no justice at all.
  • Throughout the history of cinema, there have been countless biopics of famous figures that deify their subjects and disregard faults in fear of tainting the idol they have so perfectly sculpted. In Jackie, however, Pablo Larrain subverts genre expectations in favor of a haunting psychological portrait of a woman caught in a terrifying piece of history. Famous images of Jacqueline Kennedy in her pink Chanel suit have lingered in the public's collective memory for years, but here, Larrain allows viewers to experience the week following JFK's assassination from the perspective of the woman who held his dying body in her arms. It's shot in an episodic, frantic format that replicates the psychological turmoil of post-traumatic stress as the line between past and present blurs. One ghostly scene in particular - soundtracked by Mica Levi's eerie score - follows Jackie as she wanders the White House in isolation, exploring various rooms and eventually falling asleep alone as a widow for the first time. The film's central performance by Natalie Portman will no doubt gain great attention for its dedication to every last nuance of Jackie Kennedy's mannerisms and voice, but the real success rests in Portman's relentless and layered conveyance of emotion throughout the film. She does not allow the iconic figure to become a one-dimensional reflection of the public's memory, but allows viewers to witness the conflicted feelings of nostalgia, grief, isolation, and tenacity that Kennedy experienced. The film successful solidifies the lingering of Kennedy's melancholic face as a fleeting vision set across the 60s horizon, luminous and bruised at once, but enduring through history.
  • I'm not really familiar with Pablo Larraín's work. I hadn't seen any of his other films prior to watching Jackie. And yet I was still very excited for it because it sounded like something that was absolutely my cup of tea. Hearing reports that Academy members weren't liking it very much, and then hearing exactly why (because it wasn't your usual biopic and seemed to be more "out there" than most biopics) just got me more excited. It didn't disappoint at all. It was basically everything I wanted it to be. One of the finest, truest character studies of the year, completely driven by explorations into Jackie Kennedy's psyche. That sounds kind of pretentious, but I do think this film more than any other of the year deserves to be described that way. I would absolutely not be surprised if the Academy doesn't go for this at all, but I do wish it was popping up in more critic awards than it has been. More than any other film of the year it rests completely on its lead actress. Portman is just completely engaging and mesmerizing, and she adds to the film's poetry-like storytelling. Having seen both Portman and Emma Stone, I would be surprised if they gave the Oscar to Stone simply because Portman is basically her entire film and she's also completely immersed into the character in a way that Stone doesn't need to be. The latter's role may just be too light. Regardless, it's a performance to be talked about and remembered.

    I appreciate when I leave a film feeling as though there's still so much left to unpack and to uncover about it, meaning that I wasn't able to completely discover all of its aims and goals in one viewing. To me that's the sign of a very well thought out film, a film that will leave a lingering impact. That's exactly how I came out of this. I'm sure not everyone here will take to it, but count me as one of its fans.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I've seen many critics and commentators praise Jackie for being an accurate, intelligent, and insightful depiction of Jackie Kennedy and I'm a bit flabbergasted by this. This film came across to me as highly speculative, overly melodramatic, and distant all at the same time. Many of the film's techniques are praiseworthy, but this ultimately doesn't reach the level of a biopic like Patton or Malcolm X.

    Jackie follows the life of Jackie Kennedy (played by Natalie Portman) during the days after her husband's assassination. The film's framing device is an interview of Jackie with a journalist (Billy Crudup) at her home after the assassination. She imparts her story to the journalist to set the record straight about her life and her family's legacy. She is extremely controlling during the interview, telling the reporter what he can and can't write about her (even at one point saying she doesn't smoke while smoking a cigarette). The film flashes back and forth between the interview and the days after the assassination, focusing on Jackie's grieving. After showing the initial events after the assassination, Jackie tries to stave off a nervous breakdown while grappling with what her life means without her husband. Without him, she almost feels like her life is a waste. To handle this, she becomes obsessed with building the Camelot myth around the Kennedy family. She wants the Kennedys to be remembered as a grand, romantic family with a good legacy. She accomplishes this in part by planning a grand funeral for her husband against the wishes of the secret service, who desire a more modest ceremony for safety reasons.

    I have no doubt that Jackie was instrumental in building the mythology around JFK, and it's not a stretch to believe that she wanted to validate her own life in some way by doing this. Finally, she must have went through some kind of PTSD after the assassination. But the film attempts to show all of these things in ways that are indulgent, exploitative, and melodramatic. Take a scene where Jackie listens to Richard Burton's performance of Camelot while trying on various stylish dresses she had worn in the White House, all while sobbing hysterically. Or a scene where she admits to a priest that she might have planned all of the pomp and circumstance during the funeral to make her feel good about herself. These scenes feel like they came out of a National Enquirer article rather than a decent biography. Just five minutes of research will show that Jackie didn't even plan the funeral – it was planned by Robert Sargent Shriver. This film is all about mood, not accuracy. Needless to say, Jackie's vanity in this film is probably a tad bit exaggerated, and I question the veracity of pretty much every scene in the film.

    These flaws may have been somewhat forgivable if I felt like the character Jackie really came to life at any point, but I don't think she did. Using the interview as the framing device was a bit clumsy, and it's one of the many elements that really prevented me from being fully absorbed in the film. While the film is clearly trying to make points about Jackie's character, I feel like I'm being told about them. I don't feel them. But the cold distance between Jackie and the audience is partially because of Natalie Portman's performance. While her performance has been praised left and right, I found it to be overly rehearsed, almost mimicry. In a good biopic, there has to come a moment where the actor becomes the historical figure, and I don't think that happened here. I could say the same for the film's second largest part, Robert Kennedy. Peter Sarsgaard does not look or sound a thing like RFK.

    The movie isn't all bad. For all the flak I've given Portman, her performance is good overall, just not as good as her Black Swan performance in my opinion. The director Pablo Larrain uses close ups very effectively (in some of Portman's best moments), and he seamlessly blends archival footage with reenactments. There is a scene where Jackie looks out the window of the limousine at her husband's funeral, and the reflections of the people watching the funeral motorcade on the window looked an awful lot like archival footage to me. Real archival footage or not, it was an impressive effect. The score by Mica Levy is also haunting.

    Jackie was a pretty disappointing experience for me. It's more like an exercise in artistic filmmaking than a good story. Ideally you get both from a film. Not so here. I would wait for video if you want to see this film.
  • I saw this movie at TIFF and haven't been able to get it off my mind since. Natalie Portman is brilliant in her portrayal of someone who is both uniquely strong-minded and painfully insecure. The portrayal of this type of personality at a time (the 2-3 days following JFK's death) where personal and national perception was everything is unlike anything I have seen in film.

    Between script, art direction and cinematography, this movie is equally brilliant in its ability to say everything without saying anything. I can't recommend this movie enough. I don't doubt that we will be talking about it come Oscar season.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    JACKIE (2016) ***1/2 Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Hurt, Richard E. Grant, Caspar Phillipson, John Carroll Lynch, Beth Grant, Max Casella. Portman scored a richly deserved Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Jackie Kennedy in this excellently produced biopic of The First Lady in the aftermath of the assassination of her husband President John F. Kennedy detailing her emotions, actions and reactions to a journalist (Crudup) with flashbacks to the infamous date that changed history forever as well as her days of happier times including her television escort of the White House. Noah Oppenheim's clear-eyed screenplay is a welcome resolve to the usual histrionics and hackneyed attempts of the past to re-create the days of "Camelot" while director Pablo Larrain elicits an uncanny turn by Portman with her dreamily, breathy near brittle voice and still-waters-run-deep demeanor in a portrait of courage for the ages. Immaculate production design by Jean Rabasse, gorgeous costuming by Madeline Fontaine and handsome cinematography by Stephane Fontaine complete the picture.
  • Being a history and film buff I had to see "Jackie" as it's a historical film of the memories and times of the life and assassination of President John Kennedy, as told thru flashback and grief trauma memories from the elegant and class act first lady Jackie Kennedy(in a beautiful performance from the wonderful Natalie Portman). Starting like an interview style of a film told by flashback flashback the movie takes place after the death of "JFK", as Jackie is interviewed about the experience and the memories of the death and the impact of the administration, all of this brings out sorrow and emotions from Jackie(as Natalie showed the grief and anger on screen so well)it's just like you as the viewer feel the pain of the first lady. Overall good film that's a showcase of memories showing how tragedy and loss can affect a strong lady along with a nation, this picture is a watch for any history or film buff.
  • We went to the theater expecting interesting but sad biopic of an enigmatic woman. Well... my husband and at least a couple of other men in the theater fell asleep, at least when the noisy and creepy score did not keep them awake. It is difficult to tell what explains the discrepancy of the overall positive reviews and our clearly disappointing experience. We felt that the reason why the story was told was not clear to the writers and director. It is difficult to understand how the movie was so boring when everything you read about the Kennedys is interesting. Natalie Portman really tried to be convincing but the acting was forced and you could smell the hours of training. The accent of Jackie Kennedy was really weird even though it tried to resemble the original way of her talking. I overheard one couple discussing when we walked back to the parking lot:" It was rather static. - Yes, and psychotic." I am not sure if they understood the meaning of the words but weirdly it made sense. Overall the photography and costumes were beautiful and all other actors were convincing. In conclusion, the lack of connection with the viewers was evident despite the overall high quality.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I went to see this movie mainly because I had read rave reviews of Natalie Portman's performance, which according to some, will certainly win her her second Oscar.

    I cannot adequately express my disappointment in the movie and in Portman's performance. The first thing that bothered me was the horrible accent she had put on. I don't know if Jackie Kennedy really spoke this way but it felt forced, artificial. She was good at expressing grief, but I was unable to feel any sympathy. This is shocking, considering how devastating the event - JFK assassination- was to the whole country.

    In this movie Jackie came across as self centered, which can be forgiven, considering the magnitude of her loss. Natalie Portman couldn't touch me emotionally. The frequent close ups were annoying. We know she was devastated, but it was unnecessary to show closeups if her blood stained face, crying and tears again and again.

    The worst part of the movie was the interview which went into the past, in segments, asking how she felt, and Portman's acting in those scenes was way below her ability. Natalie Portman is a good actress, but in thus movie she felt artificial. It was totally unnecessary to create the interviews. If the point of the movie was to show Jackie Kennedy's feelings and courage at the worst time of her life, a more direct approach might have worked better. The screenplay, background score, direction were all deficient in putting life into this tragic story. I couldn't wait for the movie to end.

    The saving grace was the costumes and the White House interior at that time. They were wonderful. Acting wise no one other than 'Jackie' had much room. The screenplay certainly didn't help.

    The whole movie felt like someone wanted to create a movie that would show Natalie Portman on the screen all the time. Sadly she remained Natalie Portman to me. She never felt like Jackie Kennedy.
  • "Jackie" tells the story of the spiralling grief, loss and anger of Jackie Kennedy driven by the assassination of JFK in Dallas in November 1963. Hopping backwards and forwards in flashback, the film centres on the first interview given by Jackie (Natalie Portman, "Black Swan") to a 'Time' journalist (Billy Crudup, "Watchmen", "Spotlight").

    Through this interview we flashback to see Jackie as the young First Lady engaged in recording a TV special for a tour of the White House: nervous, unsure of herself and with a 'baby girl' voice. This contrasts with her demeanour in the interview which – although subject to emotional outburst and grief – is assured, confident and above all extremely assertive. We live the film through Jackie's eyes as she experiences the arrival in Dallas, the traumatic events of November 22nd in Dealey Plaza, the return home to Washington and the complicated arrangement of the President's funeral.

    This is an acting tour de force for Natalie Portman, who is astonishingly emotional as the grief-stricken ex-first lady. She nails this role utterly and completely. Having already won the Golden Globe for an actress in a dramatic role, you would be a foolish man to bet against her not taking the Oscar.

    In a key supporting role is Peter Sarsgaard ("The Magnificent Seven") as Bobby Kennedy (although his lookalike is not one of the best: that accolade I would give to Gaspard Koenig, in an un-speaking role, as the young Ted Kennedy).

    Also providing interesting support as Jackie's priest is John Hurt ("Alien", "Dr Who") and, as Jackie's close friend, the artist Bill Walton, is Richard E Grant ("Withnail and I", who as he grows older is looking more and more like Geoffrey Rush – I was sure it was him!).

    Director Pablo Larraín (whose previous work I am not familiar with) automatically assumes that EVERYONE has the background history to understand the narrative without further explanation: perhaps as this happened 54 years ago, this is a bit of a presumption for younger viewers? Naturally for people of my advanced years, these events are as burned into our collective psyches as the images in the Zapruder film.

    While the film focuses predominantly, and brilliantly, on Jackie's mental state, the film does gently question (via an outburst from Bobby) as to what JFK actually achieved in his all too short presidency – 'Will he be remembered for resolving the Cuban missile crisis: something he originally created?' rants Bobby. In reality, JFK is remembered in history for this assassination and the lost potential for what he might have done. I would have liked the script to have delved a little bit further into that collective soul-searching.

    This is a very sombre movie in tone, from the bleak opening, with a soundtrack of sonorous strings, to the bleak weather-swept scenes at Arlington cemetery. The cinematography (by Stéphane Fontaine, "Rust and Bone") cleverly contrasts between the vibrant hues of Jackie's "Camelot" to the washed-out blueish tones of the post-assassination events. If you don't feel depressed going into this film, you probably will be coming out! But the journey is a satisfying one nonetheless, and the script by Noah Oppenheim – in a SIGNIFICANT departure from his previous teen-flick screenplays for "Allegiant" and "The Maze Runner" – is both tight and thought-provoking.

    Overall, a recommended watch.

    Finally, note that for those of a squeamish disposition, there is a very graphic depiction of the assassination from Jackie's point-of-view…. but this is not until nearly the end of the film, so you are reasonably safe until then! Also as a final general whinge, could directors PLEASE place an embargo on the logos of more than two production companies coming up at the start of a film? This has about six of them and is farcical, aping the (very amusing) parody in "Family Guy" (google "family guy logos").

    (For the graphical version of this review please visit bob-the-movie-man.com. Thanks.)
  • seamcg3 January 2017
    I've never taken the time to write a review for the site. But this movie... is just too overrated.

    The struggle with this movie is based around the character. I am not totally familiar with the actual personality of Jackie Kennedy, but I walked out of the theater absolutely despising her. She acts as if she is in the toughest position in the world, and as if nobody has ever lost a family member before. Consistently, she displays a lack of understanding that others just lost someone they knew as well. I understand that we are supposed to feel compassion for her, but I just do not.

    The film is a genuine trudge, with a cacophony of minor chords making up what could be called the "theme." The soundtrack is grating, and so is the rest of the movie. The only redeeming qualities of the movie is a very solid performance by Peter Saarsgard, and an appearance by John Hurt.

    Portman's performance is genuinely overrated, with small flashes of quality and an overwhelming amount of "cry face".

    Overall, just not worth the hype, and a trudge through 90 minutes that felt much longer.
  • As someone who loves history, I thoroughly enjoyed Jackie. For the most part, the facts were historically accurate as far as I am aware. I also really liked the score, I thought it was very refreshing and simply different. The film was slow-paced but I find that's to be expected with historical films. I liked that the cinematography was simple to give a real sense of the era, and the costume design was great. I also liked the ending.

    Essentially this is a film where I liked everything, but didn't love much. The only things that I absolutely loved was Natalie Portman's acting as Jackie Kennedy. She really exuded her character and became Jackie Kennedy. it was great! The other thing I loved was John Hurt as the priest which was a lovely surprise.

    Overall, this was a simple film but it wasn't daring. It didn't risk take like other films would and therefore in that regard may be a bore for some.
  • Admittedly I have never been much of a Natalie Portman fan. That being said, I think it was pretty ballsy of her taking on an American icon, and her work, particularly in trying to get Jackie's "breathless" voice, is commendable though NOT Oscar-worthy.

    Just too many long camera shots - five minutes to watch her from behind walking through rooms of the White House...several times I caught myself yawning. The expressionless face of Billy Crudup as the interviewer - yawn again - and absolutely abysmal minor chords pretending to be a movie musical score, more jarring than anything on screen.

    Having just watched The American Experience's terrific RFK documentary a week or so ago, I was struck by why the director would chose a fifty-something, tall, heavy-set actor to play a 34 or 35 year old slim-ish, not very tall Bobby Kennedy - the actor showing almost no emotion at all when Bobby was known to flair up, shout, and when moved, express his emotions.

    The reason I give this a 3 instead of a 2 is the lovely performance by John Hurt as the priest. I did not recognize him until the last scene.
  • Venice Reports by Alex Immediate reaction to Portman's JACKIE

    Alex Deleon {}. Premiere at 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Natalie Portman simply Astonishing as the Grieving First Lady. Viewedon Thursday morning, Venice Day 8, at the massive Aerdrome hangar-like Sala Biennale. Incredible Natalie Portman as Newly widowed wife of JFK is a shoo-in for Best Actress Oscar in Feb. 2017. She had the accent (fey debuttantish speech style during White House tour) absolutely down pat to the point where it was eerie -- but also the supreme dignity and composure after the shooting. All nails hit squarely on the head by Chilean director Pablo Larrain backed up by American Producer Daran Aronofsky. This incredible film gave me the shivers at several points -- Shivers of historical recognition reviving my own reactions to the events at the time. Portman is just unbelievable!! -- She got so deep into Jackie's skin that physical resemblance or lack of it was totally by-passed and rendered irrelevant. She captured the Soul! ~~ After this she stands alone as the Next Big Hollywood Diva. All backup roles also perfect, notably Billy Crudupp as the respectful but in-digging reporter whose interview with Jackie frames the story. A clever scenario device that provides a Kane-ish touch. Ends with the feeling that Ms. Kennedy will do anything to preserve the White House as Camelot legend. This picture preserves the Jacqueline Bouvier-Kennedy legend in spades.

    PS: Noah Oppenheim was awarded a Best Scenario Silver Lion on Venice awards night.
  • I saw this at one of my rare non-balcony screenings at this year's TIFF with Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who had another film at the festival, the Spanish language NERUDA) present and available for a post-screening Q & A.

    First things first. If you thought Helen Mirren as THE QUEEN, Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf, and Meryl Streep as THE IRON LADY gave great, deservedly Oscar-winning performances in biopics, know that Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy gives a performance here that's every bit in their league. This almost makes you wince at the thought of how much talent was going underutilized in all those Star Wars and Thor movies, but I'm glad that they made it possible for her to play a role like this one. Truly out of the park.

    I can't see this film not picking up multiple nominations. Pablo and the picture should both be nominated, but they'll have a tough time taking home the prizes over Damien Chazelle and LA LA LAND (which I also saw and am sure will be a big hit). The cinematography, editing, set design, and ESPECIALLY the makeup are all first-rate and deserving.

    There may be a nomination among the supporting players: Peter Sarsgaard is excellent as the thoroughly-broken Bobby Kennedy, and his consideration should benefit from the contrast with his highly-visible role as the head baddie in the remake of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (also seen at TIFF) which is certainly destined for commercial success. (BTW, he's just adequate in that role – no match for Eli Wallach in the original.)

    About that caveat: The film leaves the impression that there was a national day of mourning the day of the Kennedy funeral, so I inquired of Larrain (who speaks only limited English) why the film didn't address the controversy about the NFL playing a full schedule on the same day. It turned out that he didn't know what the NFL was and had to be informed by the moderator. I didn't really catch his reply, something about things having to go on.

    Another quibble: The framing device is an interview Jackie gave to Theodore White a week after the assassination, but White is not identified and is played by Billy Cruddup, who looks nothing like him. The familiarity Jackie had with him is nowhere to be found.

    Misimpressions aside, this is a must-see for anyone with a taste for great acting. Let the aforementioned performances be your guide -- that or a desire to see Portman one-up her Oscar turn in BLACK SWAN.
  • I feel sorry for the people who made this movie, I really do. I have no doubt their intentions were noble and that they thought, or hoped, they were creating a masterpiece. But alas, it was not to be. It is difficult to imagine that anyone involved in this movie could possibly be happy with the final result for it is not just not a great movie, it is not even a good movie, it is an excruciatingly bad one.

    It is difficult to know to know where to start, so let's go straight to the acting. While many reviewers are waxing lyrical about Natalie Portman's portrayal I would disagree. Firstly it is a miscasting of epic proportions. It is forgivable that she is not the perfect physical incarnation of Jackie but it is not forgivable that the casting people chose someone who's physical stature is nowhere near that of her subject. The real Jackie was a whole 4 inches taller than Portman and while most people would call Jackie beautiful I don't think anyone would call her petite. Natalie Portman is petite, elfin even, and it is difficult for a petite person to satisfactorily play someone who has completely different body type. It is not her fault, she is just not physically built that way. Furthermore, look at any photo of Jackie and you will see a person who exudes strength and natural charisma. Natalie Portman never achieves this and how could she possibly do so given that she just does not have that gravitas, once again, not her fault but a fault of casting. Jackie's hair was iconic and integral to her look and image.

    While it is unreasonable to expect any actress to have a face that looks like Jackie's it is not unreasonable for a hairdresser or wigmaker to reproduce her hair. So why do we have Natalie Portman in a hairdo that is nothing like Jackie's? While the makers go to extreme lengths to insert NP into historical footage, apparently they can't be bothered to give her the same haircut that Jackie had in the original footage.

    And that "accent", if that is what it was. When she first opens the door to the reporter, given that here was a lady who looked nothing Jackie, and spoke what seemed to be some sort of Balkan language, I thought that she must be the Hungarian housemaid. Thank goodness for subtitles. If you listen to the real Jackie she spoke nothing like this. While she had a slightly exotic voice she did not have the effected, whiney, barely intelligible voice that Portman gives us. This is important, because the impression it gives of Jackie is she is an annoying, pretentious bimbo who it is impossible to empathise with and who you wish would just go away.

    Finally the luckless Natalie is given the most excruciating script I have ever encountered - to call it a second rate soap opera script would be high praise for it. It is a string of clichés connected together with clichés, with more ham than a spam factory. See brave Jackie stride purposely through the mud at Arlington. See brave Jackie comfort her children - "mummy, when is Daddy coming home" - I almost laughed out loud at that. See Bobby Kennedy berate himself for not achieving enough. Hear a priest tell us why bad things happen. Hear a reporter praise Jackie. Hear Jackie make witty remarks about General De Gaulle. See Jackie wipe the blood off her face and arrive home alone in Washington from Texas still wearing her bloodstained clothes. Hear Jackie listen to Camelot. Oh lordy, please make it stop, I surrender.

    I have no idea what the filmmakers intended. Was this supposed to be a hagiography or a hatchet job? Did they make her appear such a buffoon to bring her place in history down a peg? Or did they actually believe the way they portrayed her would cause anyone to think better of her or venerate her?

    Of course neither I, nor most people, have any idea what Jackie was really like. All I know is that the script is such a complete fantasy that nothing in this film can be trusted. It has added absolutely nothing to our knowledge of Jackie and distorted history a bit more. Poor Jackie, I just hope they don't have movie theatres where she is now, she has suffered enough.
  • monroep21 February 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    I've never written a review before but after seeing the movie Jackie and reading some of the so called critic reviews giving it a high rating, I find myself compelled to. This is simply the worst movie I've seen in my life. Natalie Portman's acting is absolutely horrible with the worst part being her attempt at trying to sound like or speak like Jacqueline Kennedy.

    The cinematography, horrible, again the worst I've seen as it tries to incorporate historical film footage into the movie and also attempts to create black and white film footage or inserted Natalie into historical film footage, looked amateurish.

    The soundtrack gave you 1 hour and 40 minutes of depressing boring music as the producer attempts to make a 1 hour movie at best into an hour and 40 minutes.

    The script, horrible, any 10 year could have done a better job.

    The reporter, that was interviewing Jackie during the movie, tie was too thick for the time period and his shirt collar too big for that time period, how could anyone get that wrong. I fell asleep for 40 minutes of the movie, as I was with my wife and one of her girlfriends or I would have gotten up and left, but woke up and felt as if I hadn't missed anything.

    Lastly, how can someone make a movie about this event in America's history and NOT include one of the most enduring and iconic images of all time of little John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting his father's casket as it passes by. There is really nothing good to say about this movie, it's horrible.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was excited to watch this film given the hype about it and the fact Portman was playing the lead role. but something was missing? story, narrative or context? who knows all I know I was 45 min into this and I was wondering what the hell was going on. I get it, Jackie Kennedy has just lost her husband and the world doesn't seem to give a toss as it puts in a new president to replace him even before she has washed her dead husbands brains out of her hair. they are planning the funeral and all she can do is look for a great place to bury him, some where nice where he will be able to take in the sights at Arlington, news flash Jackie he is dead, I don't think he really cares!. The main problem with this film is the restrained nature of it, is this really how this woman acted after her husband was killed in such a horrific manner? its all to clinical and held together with Vicodin and upper class grace. I understand this movie is touted for Oscar nominations, I understand the nature of Portman's portal of Jackie Kennedy it was amazing given the limitations of what she must have had to work with. I just don't think she had the mindset of Jackie at all, I was not convinced, all I saw was Portman struggling, if this was meant to convey an aspect of Jackie's character then I'm sorry I missed the memo. someone else can love this movie for me it was a part of my life I would like back a long with my $25.
  • Beyond bad! Whether it was the material that defeated him or simply working in English from a script that was never that good in the first place, Pablo Larrain's "Jackie" is a classic example of how not to attempt a biopic but then, of course, this isn't really a biopic at all but an account of the Kennedy assassination and the events immediately following it as told to a journalist by Jackie herself.

    In the title role Natalie Portman does bear some physical resemblance to her character but she, too, is defeated by the demands of the part; this isn't acting but mimicry and other fine actors follow suit. People who really ought to know better approach their roles as if this were sacred text and as if to compound the miserableness we have to endure a ponderous, yet Oscar-nominated by Mica Levi. Avoid at all costs.
  • guy-8492624 January 2017
    It was boring and the music was dreadful.

    I have to write a minimum of 10 lines say the review guidelines to tell you how boring it was.

    It was very, very boring. Long self indulgent shots.

    Pointless "narrative".

    Perhaps I was just in the wrong place for this film. Or perhaps it was just a very, very, VERY boring film.

    That critics like.

    Like "Tree of Life". {Shudders}

    What is it with critics and boring, pretentious films?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There are few films that I question the necessity of making in the first place. Jackie, a historical drama chronicling our former first lady's practical and emotional reactions to the events leading up to and during the funeral of our 35th president, is one such film. What possibly can be learned about someone's life chronicling the time period leading up to a funeral—an event where any person would be most vulnerable?

    Instead of perhaps imagining what kind of relationship Jackie had with Jack Kennedy when he was alive, director Pablo Larrain prefers to bring us pale imitations of historical TV broadcasts (such as Jackie's famed 1962 televised tour of the White House) or the more salacious exploding head of JFK when he's hit by the assassin's bullet (haven't we seen enough of that on Youtube in clip after clip of the Zapruder film?).

    Larrain, utilizing a screenplay by Noah Oppenheim, creates a fictional framing device, an imagined interview between Jackie Kennedy and a fictional reporter (played by a somewhat unkempt Billy Crudup) at Hyannisport, asking a slew of inappropriate questions of Jackie regarding her recent recollection as to the the events leading up to JFK's funeral.

    Even if one concedes there is a necessity in presenting such a behind the scenes look, there has to be a determined verisimilitude in the presentation. Actors have to look and sound like the historical personages they're playing; otherwise, the events won't seem real at all, and one will get the impression that we're looking at a mere imitation of the events as opposed to the real McCoy.

    The number one offender here is of course Natalie Portman, who does fairly well in re-creating Jackie's way of speaking which reminds one of a muted Carol Channing, but is unable to convey any of her poise or gravitas. Instead, she aims to present Jackie as a neurotic, perhaps made more unhinged by the assassination. Mick LaSalle, writing in the SF Chronicle, hits the nail on the head when he writes: "But no insight can be gleaned or arrived at through a portrayal of Jackie Kennedy as having been a fragile, emotional cripple at the height of her influence and popularity. Once that happens, we're just not talking about the same woman anymore, and all that's left is an actress playing dress-up in a bloodstained pink Chanel suit and a pillbox hat."

    Worse than Portman is Peter Sarsgaard as Bobby Kennedy. In perhaps the worst casting choice in a few decades, Sarasgaard doesn't look or sound like Bobby in the least and appears as a strange interloper opposite Portman. John Carroll Lynch as LBJ also doesn't feel like he inhabits the body of our former president but Beth Grant is great as Lady Bird and Caspar Phillipson is decent enough as JFK, during the brief scenes in which he appears.

    In addition to the salacious moments of the assassination itself, the Jackie "plot" mainly focuses on her indecision as to whether the participants at the funeral should walk with the casket, causing security concerns. There are more effective moments where Jackie must explain JFK's death to Caroline and John Jr., but even those somehow feel intrusive, even after all these years. Speaking of intrusive, director Larrain is determined to inject Mica Levi's overly mournful music into almost scene, reminding us that we're continually in the midst of a funeral.

    Only the late John Hurt as a consoling priest to Jackie brings any true gravitas to the overall proceedings.

    If you wish to learn about Jackie Kennedy there are many documentaries and features that are way better than this one. Kyle Smith writing in the NY Post perhaps provides the most efficient benediction for this hapless project: "Jackie" does more than a disservice — bordering on an insult — to its subject: It's so obtuse about the history of mores that it's the equivalent of showing Abraham Lincoln reading the Gettysburg Address off a teleprompter."
  • I've given this my harshest rating yet. One wonders how something like this abomination gets greenlighted. Although the overall concept of focusing on Jackie in the immediate aftermath of the assassination isn't a poor concept in theory (although one wonders what greater understanding of the public would result, or of what value that would actually be), in practice the film fails to convey much more than to purport a great deal of alternating anger and helplessness (but not grief) by JFK's widow.

    It uses a device throughout the film, that of showing Jackie's performance in a televised tour of the White House, juxtaposed with those feelings I have mentioned. The intent may be to show that Jackie was just a phony, a hard bitch that chainsmoked and stomped around ranting when she wasn't alone, walking zombielike around the West Wing (but was not so self-absorbed that she didn't completely ignore her children). If this is indeed the intent, it's an especially mean-spirited way of doing it, as we are given only brief glimpses of a living JFK.

    But what makes this a truly awful film is the script and the directing. It's difficult to direct from a bad script, of course, but the protracted use of extreme closeups with an accompanying ominous, repetitious, pounding musical score makes the bad dialogue cringeworthy. The most egregious examples of this occur in the scenes with RFK and the priest. The words written for Bobby are particularly unbelievable and out of character, and both Peter Sarsgaard and Natalie Portman deliver their poorly-written lines with the effort one would expect in a film that just represents a payday for everyone involved.

    It's unclear if any of the events and conversations depicted are factual; but I have some real suspicions that the film makers just made this stuff up. It's a soulless film that doesn't get or seem to want any emotional investment from the audience, and once it's over with, you just think, why spend all this time and effort on such a dismal project?
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