Natalie Portman stars as one of America’s most recognizable first ladies in this portrait of Jackie Kennedy.
Told by way of a series of flashbacks during an interview, Jackie examines the assassination of President John F. Kennedy through the eyes of his widow, offering a glimpse into her private life.
Meticulous in its recreation of period Washington DC and well known historic footage, Jackie deserves all the respect in the world for the work put into the technical side of things, and those with a keen interest in American history will undoubtedly find much to oo and ah over.
Natalie Portan’s award winning performance deserves recognition as well. She allows the role to consume her, becoming the First Lady almost as viscerally as she once became a swan. It is a role she is sure to be remembered well for.
This is where I sadly must end my praise for Jackie. Recreation does not an interesting film make. Subdued nearly to the point of emotionlessness, the film lacks any real depth and I didn’t feel it gave much interesting insight into either Jackie’s persona or the events surrounding her. There are a few touching moments, a few meaningful quips, but mostly we just sort of float through the non-linear narrative in a manner that makes the film harder to follow without seeming to add anything of meaningful value to it. It’s the dull part of a history lesson and the confusing part of someone’s memories, melding into something only a select audience is going to find remotely enjoyable to watch.
There’s not much in the way of plot here – non-chronological vignettes flash back and forth as a reporter for Life magazine tries to piece together the story that Jackie wishes to claim as her own and give to the American public. That and a garden confessional with Father Richard McSorley (John Hurt) attempt to be the connecting threads to the rest of the film’s scenes.
I could tell you before beginning this film that I am not the target audience for it, and perhaps I judge it with an unfair amount of harshness because of that, but I can hardly tell what audience it is meant for. I found it neither informative, nor entertaining. Not fascinating or powerful, or even emotional for most of the film.
Technically superb, but lifeless and boring 90% of the time – if the subject doesn’t interest you, you can safely skip it.
Mrs. Hamster says;
“It took a historically significant event and showed it in the most boring way possible, omitting many of the important parts.”
Brother Hamster says:
Jackie is a great movie if you like movies that don’t have a plot and make no effort to find one.”
My rating: two out of five hats
Jackie floats into DC area theaters December 9