“Jackie” stars Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, and John Hurt. Released on December 2, 2016, the film follows the life of Jackie Kennedy after the 1963 assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy.
The film is directed by Pablo Larrain, who also directed films such as Tony Manero, Post Mortem, No, and Neruda. 2017 has officially begun, and do you know what that means? Yep, it’s time for me to catch up with the other 2016 films that I haven’t seen yet until now. Even though I haven’t watched any of Larrain’s other works, I was already interested on his vision of the president’s wife. That, and I’ve been hearing a lot of praise for Portman’s performance as the title character. So, let’s see how this one turns out.
There were a few things that I found very impressive, such as the execution of the story. The film covers the days of Jackie Kennedy leading up to the burial of her husband. You probably figured out what happened to Jackie’s husband. If you don’t, then stop reading this review and look it up! I can see this being shown in several history classes in high school because there had been so many people who were in disbelief or shock after witnessing what happened to President Kennedy in 1963, including his wife. Larrain delivered an interesting look at how Jackie felt after the assassination and before the burial. Portman did a very good job at playing this type of character who felt like she could’ve done more to protect the man she loved. Another shining moment in the film was the cinematography. The film takes place in the 1960s, so there were some scenes that felt like they were actually shot in that decade. This is definitely what the power of cinematography should feel like. Even though the story’s execution was good, the entire movie itself wasn’t as captivating as I hoped it would be. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like the film. I found some scenes that either slowed the film down or didn’t pack a wallop in terms of emotional depth. When it comes to independent films like this, I don’t really care about slow scenes as long as they know how to make them as attention-getters. This one didn’t quite get my attention as much as I thought it would. The film is close to 99 minutes long, but it felt like a few minutes more.
Overall, while it doesn’t have the right ingredients to make “best movie” status, “Jackie” still shines in terms of Portman’s performance and its impressive cinematography. I appreciate Larrain’s interesting vision, but the process of telling that story wasn’t as attention-getting as I would’ve imagined. Other than that, I would say it’s worth a watch, mostly for Natalie Portman.