Saturday, December 24, 2016

Jackie - Movie Review

JACKIE (R) Starring Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Hurt, Richard E. Grant, John Carroll Lynch, Beth Grant and Max Casella.
Written by Noah Oppenheim.
Directed by Pablo Larrain.


This movie daringly focusses on the immediate after match of JFK's assassination, but it does so in a framework that jumps between that, and an interview she gave with Theodore H. White (Billy Crudup) a week later. We simultaneously feel the shock of the moment and the week-after dread, which is how memories work. It's a good job from the makers, but the success of this movie is hands-down because of Natalie Portman.

This is no straightforward biopic. This breaks down some of the worshipping walls around the Kennedys to try to convey what it was like for Jackie to remain poised even while dealing with death and the sudden loss of power. Her main shoulder to cry on belongs to her brother-in-law Bobby (Peter Sarsgaard), who as attorney general also has to deal with the politics of the smooth transition of power.

This movie made me want to look up the 1961 White House tour footage again. I've seen clips, but Portman's so good here, I wonder how close her impression really is. In fact, I would have no problem with Portman winning her second Oscar for this.

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