Movie Review: JACKIE

jackie portrait
‘Jackie’
Director: Pablo Larrain
Grade 2.5 out of 5
Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Billy Crudup
 “Jackie” is a bio-pic based in the time of Jackie Kennedy’s life while she’s dealing with the aftermath of her husband’s assassination under the eyes of the entire world. She would have to provide answers and opinions involving the country losing the President of the United States, while she is also dealing with the loss of her husband and father to her two very young children. She painfully realizes that this is an end of an era.
 Natalie Portman portrays the First Lady as she sits down with a reporter and goes over the past events. Billy Crudup plays the reporter and he’s not interested in doing a simple piece. He wants to get to the true feelings behind this brave exterior that Jackie is showing. She is aware of what the public is expecting of her and what they want to hear. Peter Sarsgaard portrays Bobby Kennedy as he also caught in between trying to navigate these political situations while simultaneously dealing with the loss of his brother.

 We see the role Jackie played as the First Lady right before and right after the assassination. Natalie Portman is able to show a wide range of emotions, none of them feeling artificial. She is great. This is a very minimalist style of film. The way the shots are composed, Jackie is almost in the center of each frame, showing that she is the complete focus of this story, literally. The inclusion of actual footage from that time era blends seamlessly, giving a real authenticity to all of the dramatic scenes.

With the way the story jumped back and forth through time periods, I found that to be one of the weaker elements here. I enjoyed the way some scenes unfolded, especially the ones with Crudup, which were really fascinating because of his portrayal, but I couldn’t really get into the story. Its very poetic and beautifully shot, but the ride from beginning to end did not pull me in emotionally. All of the performances were great, especially Portman, but without a stronger narrative, I was out. Could be good for a lazy Sunday rental.

-”Marquee Mark” Markellus

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