Review in Brief: Jackie (2016)

Natalie Portman is pretty near perfect as Jackie Kennedy. There’s nowhere to hide with her forever centre-frame and sometimes uncomfortably close up when she is at her most vulnerable. I would have preferred more scenes with the priest (sadly not possible with the terminally ill John Hurt in the role) to allow for a real contrast of Jackie’s personas. You could have had two juxtaposed versions of events with the First Lady’s public and private images dominating each telling of the day of the assassination. I was also a bit disappointed that they felt JFK’s shooting itself needed to be depicted, especially following Jackie’s earlier affronted query to Billy Crudup’s journalist, “I suppose you want a blow-by-blow?”. In the end that’s exactly what we get, and it just isn’t necessary. Far more interesting are the private scenes where Jackie obsessively crafts her image and tries to keep it all together with the world watching when all she really wants to do is let go and grieve. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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