The Grieving Process – Jackie (2016)

Accepting the tragedy.  So this takes an intimate look at Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman).  She gives an interview to Life magazine, and we also get to see her moments after her husband was assassinated as well as the aftermath that followed.  I’m just going to be upfront and level with you: this wasn’t made with me as an audience member in mind.  From listening to a review and watching a trailer or two, I already discerned this prior to actually watching it, but I had to check it out because Natalie Portman is a lock to get a Best Actress nomination, if not take it altogether (I’m personally pulling for Meryl).  I knew all this and I still took the time to see this in a theater, and it was exactly what I was expecting it to be.

1I should listen to my gut more often.

While this wasn’t my cup of tea, I do want to touch on a few of positives here.  Firstly, the reason why you would watch this: the impression that Portman is nailing.  I think she is excellent in this role, and she loses herself in this character.  I don’t have all that much familiarity with Jackie Kennedy/Onassis because I am not a 60-year-old man, but I can tell you that there plenty of times that I forgot that this was Portman and I only saw Jackie onscreen.  She practically has to play multiple characters, because the Jackie that is giving the interview is so much different than her in the rest of the film.  She deserves any and all accolades that she will receive for this, and just because I’m only lukewarm about the movie as a whole shouldn’t take away from that.  I also really like the look of this film; this whole entire movie has this dreamlike quality to it, and this director knows how to frame a shot properly.  I also liked the score to this, but that is mostly where my praise stops.

2I can pretty much promise you that I am never going to watch this movie again.

I did get very restless watching this movie.  This is very much due to the structure of this, or lack thereof.  The story to this movie is all over the place, and there really isn’t a through storyline.  It feels like a slice of life biopic, but because it keeps jumping around on this timeline, it really put up a barrier as far as me being able to make any tangible connection.  I did honestly give this a shot, but I can’t help how I feel.  I’m not upset that I saw this in a theater, but I am disappointed that it isn’t a stronger all around story.

Jackie (2016) ****

– Critic for Hire


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