Starring: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Hurt
Written By: Noah Oppenheim
Directed By: Pablo Larraín
Studio: Fox Searchlight
Buy On Amazon.com
Jackie is another movie that got noticed during the Award season, particularly Natalie Portman’s portrayal as Jackie Kennedy. While the movie is pretty good, I was still expecting something more or different.
The film is about first lady Jackie (played by Natalie Portman), in the days before and after the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy and how she was affected by it. Events are shown to us in flashbacks, as Jackie is being interviewed by a journalist (Billy Crudup). That’s pretty much the jist of the story.
I didn’t have any expectation for the film but heard a lot of praises for Natalie Portman’s performance as Jackie Kennedy. She looked and definitely sounded the part, that’s for sure. I’ll admit, her accent or perhaps it’s just Jackie’s accent is like nails on a chalkboard for me. I was wincing and cringing throughout the film because I honestly never really heard the real Jackie speak too much before. Natalie went above and beyond to sound like her. She did the job really well though. Accents aside, I thought the movie would be more about her life after the assassination and not just the days after it. I’m sure there was a lot more to tell with that besides the assassination.
The movie showed what it was like to be a First Lady and then a widow really well. Can’t imagine losing your husband like that and then all of a sudden you’re seeing someone else being sworn in to to be President on the airplane. Then you have to wash all your husband’s blood off your face and take off those clothes. I don’t know if you can ever recover from something like that. The film is a good portrayal of what someone is thinking during that dark, grieving process. Besides Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard was okay as Bobby Kennedy. He’s someone that probably should of had an accent and doesn’t. It was also nice to see the late, great John Hurt in one last movie.
The score was a bit out there in that it felt like the music playing in Jackie’s head. Confusion, haunting, dread, sorrow, and other feelings pop up when hearing the score. I guess that’s why they went that route with the music. In a way, it was similar to Moonlight’s score. Just both very good and moody pieces of music. The way it was shot was interesting as well. Some shots looked like it was from archival footage, then from the 60s. There was a lot of grain in the shots and I kept looking at my TV to make sure I had the Blu-Ray on the TV and not the DVD. I’m sure it was shot that way intentionally.
The Blu-Ray bonus material contains a featurette and a gallery. The featurette was about 22 minutes long and has your basic interviews with the cast and crew. They also showed how much planning went into filming those White House tours with Jackie Kennedy. They tried to line up and compare the shots. You can watch those videos on YouTube and see how close they are. That is, if you’re not like me and can tolerate her accent. I don’t think it’s as bad hearing it from Jackie itself.
Jackie is a hit or miss movie. Some people will love it, and others will dislike it. I’m not sure where I stand yet. The performance by Natalie Portman was outstanding, even though I found the accent to be cringey. I thought the movie would be more about her life than just a few days. I guess if you know that going into it, you might be able to appreciate it more. With all that said, I thought this could be better.
From Jackie to Camelot
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Widescreen 1.66:1 Color
Bottom Line: Not sure what I dislike more: Natalie Portman’s Jackie’s accent or Jackie’s accent itself
Running Time: 100 mins