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.
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John Lee Hancock
John Carroll Lynch
Jackie is a portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Kennedy. Jackie places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband's assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a portrait of the First Lady as she fights to establish her husband's legacy and the world of "Camelot" that she created and loved so well. Written by
Fox Searchlight Pictures
One especially stormy and evocative scene for Natalie Portman comes as a fictional moment, as Jackie listens to a recording of "Camelot", while roaming the White House, desperately trying on a series of gowns and dresses, none of which seems to express what she wants in this moment, when all her instincts are to unravel, yet she must continue with her façade some way and somehow. Pablo Larraín said of the scene: "You have the most stylish woman in the world not knowing how to dress, because suddenly, she didn't know exactly who she was. Our thought was that she would just keep trying dresses, and with Natalie, it ended up as a beautiful, sad metaphor of an internal crisis of identity." See more »
When Jackie first turns on the phonograph, you hear her click the ON switch, but the record does not start to rotate. It is a stack phonograph, so the record first has to drop down the spindle onto the turntable, which we cannot see after the camera pans away. As she picks up her glass, we hear two clunks, then we immediately hear the hiss of the needle on the record. Before the record started playing, we should have actually heard two different noises from the record player: a clunk when the record dropped onto the turntable, then a click when the tone arm moved into position. See more »
Mrs. Kennedy? They told me to come up. And I'm so sorry for your loss.
Have you read what they've been writing? Krock and Merriman and all the rest?
Yes, I have.
Merriman's such a bitter man. It's been just one week. Already they're treating him like some dusty old artifact to be shelved away. That's no way to be remembered.
And how would you like him remembered, Mrs. Kennedy?
You understand that I will be editing this conversation just in case I don't say exactly ...
[...] See more »
Hopefully this is not the future of American cinema
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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